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Cornell University Library 
DC 130.M35W72 

Rose of Saya 

3 1924 028 182 578 

Cornell University 

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Madame R^camier and her Friends 

Madame de Pompadour 

Madame de Montespan 

Madame du Barry 

Queens of the French Stage 

Later Queens of the French Stage 

Five Fair Sisters 

Queen Margot 

A Princess of Intrigue 

The Women Bonapartes 

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THE principal authorities, both contemporary 
and modern, which I have consulted in the 
preparation of these volumes are mentioned 
either in the text or the footnotes. I desire, how- 
ever, to acknowledge my obligations to the following 
works by modern writers : the Comtesse Faverges, 
Anne d'Orleans, premiere reine de Sardaigne ; M. A. 
Gagniere, Marie Adelaide de Savoie, Lettres et 
Correspondances ; M. A. Geffroy, Madame de Main- 
tenon d'apres sa Correspondance authentique ; the 
Comte d'Haussonville, la Duchesse de Bourgogne 
et V Alliance savoy arde sous Louis xiv ; Imbert 
de Saint-Amand, les Femmes de Versailles : la 
cour de Louis xiv ; M. Ernest Jaegle, Correspond- 
ance de Madame, duchesse d'Orleans ; Theophile 
Lavallee, Correspondance generale de Madame de 
Maintenon ; M. G. de Leris, £tude historique sur la 
comtesse de Verrue et la cour de Victor Amedee de 
Savoie ; the Contessa della Rocca, Correspondance 
inedite de la duchesse de Bourgogne et de la reine 
d'Espagne ; Viscount Saint-Cyres, Frangois de 
Fenelon ; Luisa Sarredo, Anna di Savoia ; the 
Marchesa Vitelleschi, The Romance of Savoy : 
Victor Amadeus and his Stuart Bride ; and 
the Marquis de Vogiie, le Due de Bourgogne et le 
due de Beauvilliers. 


I must also express my thanks to Messrs. Harper 
& Brothers for their courtesy in allowing me to 
include two illustrations and several passages from 
my work on Madame de Montespan, and to Mr. 
Heinemann for kindly permitting the reproduc- 
tion of the portrait of the Duchesse de Bourgogne 
which appeared in the Correspondence of Madame, 
Princess Palatine, mother of the Regent, of Marie 
Adelaide de Savoie, Duchesse de Bourgogne, and of 
Madame de Maintenon in relation to Saint-Cyr, 
published by him in 1899. 

Lastly, I should like to express my appreciation 
of the care which has been bestowed on the Index 
by Mrs. Eileen Mitchell. 

H. Noel Williams 

May i<)og 



The Duchy of Savoy — Its prominent position in Europe mainly 
the result of its geographical position— Skilful conduct of its 
rulers — Charles Emmanuel i of Savoy and Henry iv — 
Policy of the latter prince towards Savoy reversed by 
Richelieu — The Treaty of Cherasco secures Pinerolo to 
France — French influence all-powerful at Turin during the 
regencies of the Duchess Christine and Jeanne Baptiste de 
Savoie-Nemours — Victor Amadeus ii — His remarkable pre- 
cocity and powers of dissimulation — His dishke of his 
mother, Madame Royale, who denies him all share in the 
government which she exercises in his name — His hostility 
towards France — The Regent arranges an alliance between 
her son and the Infanta Dona Isabella Luisa of Portugal — 
Victor Amadeus attains his majority and postpones the 
marriage for two years — ^The Duke intrigues against his 
mother — Rupture of the Portuguese marriage-project — 
Negotiations for an alUance between Victor Amadeus and 
Maria Anna Luisa de' Medici abandoned owing to the 
opposition of Louis xiv — The Duke is constrained to accept 
the hand of Anne Marie d' Orleans — The marriage cele- 
brated by procuration at Versailles (April 8, 1684) — Victor 
Amadeus emancipates himself from Madame Royale's 
control and takes the government of his dominions into 
his own hands ...... 


Anne Marie d'Orleans — Her appearance and character — 
Meeting with the Duke of Savoy at the Pont-de- 
Beauvoisin — The bridal pair arrive in Turin — Portrait 
physical and moral of Victor Amadeus 11 — His neglect of 
his wife — Morals of the Court of Turin — Amours of the Duke 
— His liaison with the Contessa di Verrua — Devotion of 
the Duchess to her husband — Her solicitude for his health 
— She nurses him during his serious illness at Embrun in 
1692 — Birth of Marie Adelaide of Savoy, the future 
Duchesse de Bourgogne (December 6, 1685) — • D'Urfe's 
letters from Turin — Birth of a second daughter — Chagrin 
of Victor Amadeus at the non-arrival of a son — Remon- 
strances of Louis XIV on his treatment of his wife — Educa- 


tion of the Princess Adelaide and her sister — Their life at 
the Vigna di Madama — The Duchess and her daughters — 
Affection of the two girls, and particularly of Adelaide, for 
their grandmother, Madame Roy ale . . -19 


Victor Amadeus ii and Louis xiv — Incessant interference of the 
latter in the affairs of Savoy and the domestic hfe of the 
Duke — Victor Amadeus compelled by him to engage in a 
cruel persecution of his own Protestant subjects, the Vau- 
dois — The League of Augsburg — Double game of Victor 
Amadeus — Rupture between Savoy and France — The aUies 
are defeated at Staffarda, Savoy and Piedmont are overrun 
by the French, and Turin threatened — Invasion of Dau- 
phine by the AlUes fails, owing to the serious illness of Victor 
Amadeus — Siege of Pinerolo and Battle of Marsaglia — 
Louis XIV anxious to detach Savoy from the League — ^The 
Comte de Tesse — Secret negotiations with the Court of 
Turin — Propositions of Victor Amadeus — He proposes a 
marriage between the Princess Adelaide and the Due de 
Bourgogne — Secret visitof Tesse to Turin — Victor Amadeus 
sends an envoy to Vienna to propose an alUance between 
the Princess Adelaide and the King of the Romans — Re- 
fusal of the Emperor — The Duke resumes his negotiations 
with France — Treaty signed between France and Savoy — 
Its terms — Joy of Victor Amadeus . . -44 


Tesse's mission to Turin — Joy of the Duchess of Savoy at the 
conclusion of peace with France and the approaching 
marriage of her daughter to the Due de Bourgogne — Senti- 
ments of the Princess Adelaide — An amusing comedy — - 
Reports of Tesse concerning the princess — Portraits of her 
sent to Versailles — Mission of Mansfeld to Turin — Victor 
Amadeus, in conjunction with the French, invades the 
MUanese — Suspension of hostilities in Italy — Indignation 
of the Alhes at the defection of the Duke of Savoy — Mar- 
riage-contract of the Princess Adelaide and the Due de 
Bourgogne — Trousseau of the princess^The signing of the 
contract — Formation of the princess's household — Great 
and acrimonious competition for the post of dame d'honneur 
— The Duchesse du Lude nominated — Other nominations 
— The question of the waiting-women — Victor Amadeus 
decUnes to permit the Duchess of Savoy to accompany her 
daughter to France — Selection of the envoys . . 64 


Reluctance of Victor Amadeus to permit his daughter to set out 
for France — TheFrench escort leaves Versailles — Departure 
of the Princess Adelaide from Turin — Her journey to the 


frontier — Letter of the Conte di Vernone to Victor Amadeus 
— The princess at Chambery — Questions of etiquette — 
Reception of the princess at the Pont-de-Beauvoisin — 
Arrival at Lyons — ^Impressions of the escort — The princess 
is received by Louis xiv at Montargis — DeUght of the King 
— His letter to Madame de Maintenon — Meeting of the 
Princess Adelaide and the Due de Bourgogne — Arrival 
at Fontainebleau . . . . . .89 


The Due de Bourgogne — Frenzied rejoicings at his birth— His 
parents — The Dauphin (Monseigneur) and Maria Anna of 
Bavaria — Total failure of the elaborate scheme for the 
education of Monseigneur— Ris singular character — His ap- 
pearance — Melancholy disposition and unhappy life of the 
Bavarian Dauphine — Her early death — Monseigneur and 
Mile de Choin — Childhood of the Due de Bourgogne — The 
Due de BeauvilUers appointed his gouverneur, and Fenelon 
his tutor — Early career of Fenelon — A born teacher — 
Saint-Simon's portrait of him — Methods which he pursues 
in the education of the Due de Bourgogne — His wonderful 
success — Daily hfe of the Due de Bourgogne and his 
brothers — Their physical training — Appearance of the Due 
de Bourgogne — Aspirations of Fenelon . . ■ 1 1 5 


The Princess Adelaide at Fontainebleau — Madame de Main- 
tenon entrusted with the supervision of her education — 
Letters of that lady to the Duchess of Savoy — Bhndman's 
buff — Arrival of the princess at Versailles — Decision of the 
King as to the life which she is to lead until her marriage — 
She is visited by James 11 and Mary of Modena — Motives of 
her conduct towards the King and Madame de Maintenon 
considered — Relations between Louis xiv and his legiti- 
mated children — The Due du Maine — The Comte de 
Toulouse — The Dowager-Princesse de Conti — Madame la 
Duchesse — The Duehesse de Chartres — The King is com- 
pletely subjugated by the little princess — His attentions 
to her — Dullness of the Court since the conversion of Louis 
XIV — The arrival of the Princess Adelaide brings about a 
reaction — Amusements of the princess . . . 140 


Madame de Maintenon — Widely divergent views in regard to 
her character — The probable truth — Extent of her in- 
fluence considered — Her " hfe of slavery " — Her afiection 
for children — She succumbs to the charms of the Princess 
Adelaide — Education of the princess — Madame de Main- 
tenon and Saint-Cyr — First visit of the princess to that in- 
stitution — She becomes a frequent visitor, and shares in the 


studies and recreations of the pupils— Anecdotes of her life 
there — She takes part in a representation of Racine's Esther 
— Madame Maintenon's views on marriage — Her advice to 
the princess in reference to her future husband . . 162 


Sentiments of the Due de Bourgogne in regard to the Princess 
Adelaide — Fenelon and Madame Guyon — Fenelon ap- 
pointed Archbishop of Cambrai — The conference at Issy — 
The Maximes des Saints — Indignation of Louis xiv — Dis- 
grace of Fenelon — Preparations for the marriage of the Due 
de Bourgogne and the Princess Adelaide — Ruinous rivalry 
between the courtiers in the matter of dress — Completion 
of the future Duchesse de Bourgogne's Household — The 
marriage — The wedding-night — The ball of December 
II, 1697 ....... 184 


Relations of the Due and Duchesse de Bourgogne to one another 
after their marriage — Studious habits of the duke — The 
princess begins to hold receptions — Efforts of social aspir- 
ants to take advantage of her inexperience — Removal of 
the restrictions hitherto imposed on her choice of amuse- 
ments — She assists at a performance of the Bourgeois gentil- 
homme — Hervisit to the Fair of Saint-Laurent — Herpassion 
for dancing — She is encouraged to play cards — Pleasure 
which Louis xiv finds in her society — Her letters to Madame 
Royale — A water-party at Trianon — Consequences of the 
King and Madame de Maintenon's foolish indulgence of 
the little princess — Her conduct severelv criticised by 
Madame — A welcome improvement — The review at 
CompiSgne — Consummation of the marriage of the Due 
and Duchesse de Bourgogne .... 204 


Contrast between the Duo and Duchesse de Bourgogne — 
Attempt of the latter to enter into the serious views of her 
husband — She raUies him on his gravity, and makes game 
of him behind his back — Happiness of the first years of 
their married fife — The Carnival of 1700 — Madame la Chan- 
celihe's ball — The Duchesse de Bourgogne aspires to fame 
as an amateur actress — A theatre is organised for her 
amusement in the apartments of Madame de Maintenon — 
Representations of Jonathas, A hsalon, and A thalie — Gamb- 
Ung at the Court of Louis xiv — Losses of the Duchesse 
de Bourgogne at lansquenet — She is compelled to seek the 
good offices of Madame de Maintenon to get her debts paid 


—Her grateful and contrite letter to that lady — " High 
play still her dominant passion " — She gets into a serious 
scrape over lansquenet — Injurious effect upon the princess's 
health of her insatiable appetite for pleasure — Her alarm- 
ing illness in August 1701 ..... 227 


Death and testament of Carlos 11 of Spain — Louis xiv resolves 
to accept the succession to the throne of Spain on behalf of 
his grandson, Phihppe, Due d'Anjou — "// n'y a plus de 
Pyrenees ! " — The new king treated at the French Court 
as a foreign sovereign — His parting present to the Duchesse 
de Bourgogne — His departure for Madrid — Position of 
Victor Amadeus 11 in regard to the Spanish succession (1696 
1700) — His designs on the Milanese — He seeks to obtain a 
promise from Louis xiv to secure this province for him on 
the death of Carlos 11 — His claims ignored in the First Par- 
tition Treaty — The death of the Electoral Prince of Bavaria 
revives his hopes — His indignation at being excluded from 
the benefits of the Second Partition Treaty — ^Negotiations 
between Savoy and France for the cession of the Milanese 
to the Duke interrupted by the death of Carlos 11 — Anger 
of Victor Amadeus against Louis xiv — His equivocal 
behaviour — He is constrained by France to enter into a 
fresh alUance which offers him no hope of an increase of 
territory ....... 252 


Life of the Due de Bourgogne — Brief period of frivoUty termin- 
ated by the serious illness of lus wife, which he regards 
as a judgment upon him — His increasing austerity: 
renunciation of dancing and the theatre, and finally of play, 
except for trifling sums — His piety — His exaggerated 
scruples — Impatience of the Duchesse de Bourgogne with 
the conduct of her husband — Extraordinary diffidence of 
the duke towards women encourages her and her ladies to 
indulge in practical jokes at his expense — Fondness of the 
duchess for practical joking — Her persecution of the 
Princesse d'Harcourt — Beginning of hostilities in Flanders 
and Alsace — The Due de Bourgogne placed in nominal com- 
mand of the French army in Flanders — His interview with 
Fenelon at Cambrai — First campaign of the young prince — 
He is associated with Tallard in the command of part of 
the Army of the Rhine ; but their connection is not a 
fortunate one — The taking of Brisach — -The duke's intense 
desire to see his wife the true explanation of his return to 
Versailles before the conclusion of the campaign — His 
pathetic letters from the army to the duchess's confidante, 
Madame de Montgon ..... 266 




Impatience of Louis xiv .to see a son born to the Due and 
Duchesse da Bourgogne — Severe regime imposed upon the 
young princess when she becomes enceinte in the autumn 
of 1703 — Birth of the first Due de Bretagne (June 24, 1704) 
■ — Marriage of the Duchesse de Bourgogne's younger sister, 
Maria Luisa of Savoy, Princess of Piedmont, to Philip v of 
Spain — The war in Italy : Victor Amadeus 11 generalissimo 
of the Army of the Two Crowns — Consequences of his delay 
in j oining the army and the want of unanimity between him 
and the French and Spanish generals — Villeroy supersedes 
Catinat — Defeat of the allies at Chiari — The Duke of Savoy 
suspected of having betrayed the plans of the allies to the 
ImperiaUsts — His indignation at the insolent famiUarity 
of ViUeroy — Failure of negotiations between France and 
the Duke of Mantua for the cession of Montferrato to 
Savoy — Offers of the Emperor to Victor Amadeus — Philip 
v in Italy — Refusal of the King of Spain to accord his 
father-in-law the honours due to an equal removes the 
Duke's last scruples about breaking with his alhes — 
Successes of Vendome in Italy — Negotiations of Victor 
Amadeus with Vienna — Louis xiv, convinced of his treason- 
able intentions, orders Vendome to take vigorous measures 
against him — Victor Amadeus deserts his alhes, and signs 
a treaty with the Emperor . . . .28 


Distress of the Duchesse de Bourgogne at the defection of Victor 
Amadeus 11 — Her apprehensions that the conduct of her 
father may affect her own position prove to be unfounded — 
Saint-Simon's portrait of the princess — Imprudence of the 
Duchesse de Bourgogne in her relations with the opposite 
sex — She falls in love with the Marquis de Nangis— Em- 
barrassing position in which this nobleman finds himself 
between the Duchesse de Bourgogne and his mistress, 
Madame de la VriUifere — The princess, piqued by Nangis's 
hesitation to take advantage of his good fortune, encour- 
ages the Marquis de Maulevrier — Nature of the latter's 
relations with the Duchesse de Bourgogne considered — 
Maulevrier feigns illness in order to remain at Court — His 
mad conduct — Alarm of the Duchesse de Bourgogne — 
Maulevrier is persuaded to go to Spain, but his indiscre- 
tions at Madrid necessitate his recall to France — The Abbe 
de Pohgnac first favourite with the princess — Fury of 
Maulevrier, who bombards the Duchesse de Bourgogne 
with threatening letters — His tragic end — Grief of the 
princess — Pohgnac is sent to Rome . . . 301 




Death of the httle Due de Bretagne — Letters of the Duchesse 
de Bourgogne to Madame Royale, and of the Duo de Bour- 
gogne to Philip v — Desperate position of Victor Amadeus ii : 
Turin invested by the French under La Feuillade — 
Cruel anxiety of the Duchesse de Bourgogne, who endea- 
vours to persuade her father to come to terms with France 
— Her letters to Madame Royale — Siege of Turin — -Inca- 
pacity of the French generals — Eugfene is permitted to 
effect a junction with the forces of Victor Amadeus, and 
inflicts a crushing defeat on the investing army — The 
historian Duclos's accusation of treachery against the 
Duchesse de Bourgogne, and the legend of the princess 
having seduced the French generals from their duty, 
considered . . . . . . -321 


Birth of the second Due de Bretagne (January 8, 1707) — Letters 
of the Duchesse de Bourgogne to Madame Royale — Egotism 
of Louis XIV— Miscarriage of the Duchesse de Bourgogne 
at Marly — The scene at the carp-basin — The Due de Bour- 
gogne receives the nominal command of the Army of 
Flanders, with the Due de Vendome to guide him — Char- 
acter and career of Vendome — Extraordinary ovation 
which he receives on his return from Italy — Louis xiv's 
reasons for associating his grandson with him — Appre- 
hensions of Saint-Simon — The cabal of Meudon : its ob- 
jects . . . . . . .338 


Departure of the Due de Bourgogne for Flanders — His interview 
with Fenelon at Cambrai — Conduct of the Dues de Bour- 
gogne and de Berry towards the ChevaUer de Saint-Georges 
— Composition of the Army of Flanders — Anomalous 
relations of the Due de Bourgogne and Vend6me — Posi- 
tion of the AUies — Advance of the French — Differences 
between the Due de Bourgogne and Vend6me retain the 
army inactive for a month — Occupations of the prince — 
Ghent and Bruges taken by the French, who advance to 
the Scheldt, with the intention of investing Oudenarde — 
Eugene joins Marlborough at Brussels — The AlUes, by a 
rapid march, interpose themselves between the enemy and 
his own frontier— Battle of Oudenarde — Question of the 
responsibiUty for the defeat of the French considered 358 


Efforts of Vendome to cast the blame for the loss of the Battle 
of Oudenarde upon the Due de Bourgogne — The prince 
seeks the support of Madame de Maintenon — Vend6me 


resolves to appeal to the public — Letter of Alberoni : sensa- 
tion which it arouses — Letters of the poet Campistron 
and the Comte d'Evreux — Violent outcry against the Duo 
de Bourgogne, organised by the cabal of Meudon — Dis- 
tress of the Duchesse de Bourgogne — Her courageous de- 
fence of her husband — The serious quaUties of the princess 
begin to reveal themselves — She persuades the King to 
exercise his authority to restrain the attacks upon the Due 
de Bourgogne ...... 370 


Position of the rival armies in Flanders after Oudenarde — 
Failure of Vendome and the Due de Bourgogne to appre- 
ciate the danger of the situation — The AUies resolve to lay 
siege to LiUe — The French make no effort to intercept the 
siege-train on its passage from Brussels to LiUe — Extra- 
ordinary inertia of Vendome — The army of the Due de 
Bourgogne effects its junction with that of Berwick — 
Character of Berwick — Antagonism between him and 
Vendome — The united French armies march to the succour 
of Lille, but find their advance opposed by Marlborough 
— Dissension between the French generals : appeal to 
Louis XIV — Painful suspense at Versailles — Agitation of the 
Duchesse deBourgogne — ThelFrench fallback to Tournai — 
Renewed outcry against the Due de Bourgogne in France : 
apparent triumph of the cabal — Madame de Maintenon 
espouses the prince's cause — Affair of Wynendale — 
Capitulation of LiUe — The Due de Bourgogne sets out 
for Versailles — Marlborough recovers Ghent and Bruges . 383 


Question of the responsibility for the disasters in Flanders con- 
sidered — The Due de Bourgogne far from being altogether 
blameless — His conduct and manner of life while with the 
army condemned by his friends — His return to Versailles 
and reception by Louis xiv — He is partially reconciled to 
Monseigneur — Arrival and reception of Vend6me — ^The 
King suspends judgment — Vendome retires to Anet — Out- 
cry against the Due and Duchesse de Bourgogne in Paris — 
Vendome is affronted by the Duchesse de Bourgogne at 
Marly — The princess persuades the King to exclude Ven- 
dome from Marly, and to forbid Monseigneur to invite him 
to Meudon — Effects of the Duchesse de Bourgogne's 
victory — Final discomfiture of Vendome — He rehabiUtates 
his mihtary reputation by his brilUant campaign of 1710 
in Spain — His death ..... 397 




The winter of 1708-1709 — Misery of the people — Generosity of 
the Due de Bourgogne, who inspires his wife with a desire 
to follow his example — Refusal of Louis xiv to allow the 
Due de Bourgogne to serve as a simple officer in the Army 
of the Rhine — Birth of the Due d'Anjou (afterwards Louis 
xv) — The marriage of the Due de Berry — The King gives 
the Duchesse de Bourgogne the entire control of her House- 
hold ....... 416 


Illness and death of Monseigneur — Scene at Versailles on the 
night of his death — Grief of the Due de Bourgogne — 
Funeral of Monseigneur — The Due de Bourgogne becomes 
Dauphin — Division of Monseigneur' s property — Mile de 
Choin — The Duchesse de Bourgogne is accorded honours 
usually reserved for a Queen — The Duo de Bourgogne, 
encouraged by the dispersal of the cabal and the confidence 
which the King shows in him, takes his natural place in 
society — His extraordinary popularity — His antipathy to 
the theatre — His projects of reform — Change in the con- 
duct of the Duchesse de Bourgogne — Her devotion to 
France — " I shall be their Queen ! " . . . 430 


Letters of the Duchesse de Bourgogne to her mother — The ~1'2 ' 
princess in very weak health — Her illness and death — ■ 
Grief of the Court — The Due de Bourgogne goes to Marly — • ; " 
A touching scene — His interview with the King — His illness 
and death — The lying in state of the Due and Duchesse de ' | 
Bourgogne — -Their bodies are conveyed to Saint-Denis — 
Death of the Due de Bretagne — Suspicions of poison — The 
snuff-box of the Due de Noailles — Accusations against the 
Due d'Orleans — The probable truth . . . 450 

Index ...... . . 467 


Marie Adelaide of Savoy, Duchesse de 

BouRGOGNE ..... Frontispiece 

From the Painting by Santerre at Versailles. From 
a Photograph by Neurdein 


Marie Jeanne Baptiste de Savoie - Nemours, 

Duchess of Savoy .... lo 

From an Engraving by Nanteuil, after the Painting 
by Latjrenx du Trie 

Victor Amadeus, Duke of Savoy (afterwards King 

OF Sardinia) . . . . .22 

From a Contemporary Print 

Marie Louise d'Orleans, Duchess of Savoy (after- 
wards Queen of Sardinia) . . .38 

From an Engraving by L'Armessin 

Rene de Froullay, Comte de Tesse ... 52 

From an Engraving by Tardieu fils, after the Painting 
by RiGAUD 

Louis de France, Due de Bourgogne . . .84 

From a Contemporary Print 



Louis, Dauphin of France (son of Louis xiv) . ii8 

From an Engraving by Van Schuppen, after the 
Painting by FRANgois de Troy 

Franqois de Salignac de la Mothe Fenelon, 

Archbishop of Cambrai .... 132 

From an Engraving by Drevet, after the Painting by 

Franqoise d'Aubigne, Marquise de Maintenon . 166 

From an Engraving after the Painting by Mignard. 
By permission of Messrs. Harper 

Marie Adelaide of Savoy, Duchesse de Bour- 

GOGNE (at the time of her marriage) . . 196 

From an Engraving by Desrochers, in the British 

Philippe de Courcillon, Marquis de Dangeau . 242 

From an Engraving by Drevet, after ' the Painting 
by RiGAUD 

Marie Adelaide of Savoy, Duchesse de Bour- 

gogne ... . . . . 280 

From a. Painting attributed to Santerre, in the 
Palazzo Reale, Turin. By permission of Mr. 
William Heinemann 

Abbe (afterwards Cardinal) Melchior de Polignac 316 

From an Engraving by Daull£, after the Painting 
by Rigaud 

Louis Joseph, Due de Vend6me . . . 348 

From a Contemporary Print 



Louis XIV ....... 376 

From an Engraving after the Painting by Fiter. 
By permission of Messrs. Harper 

Marie Adelaide of Savoy, Duchesse de Bour- 

GOGNE, as Diana ..... 408 

From the Statue by Coyzevox in the Louvre. From 
a Photograph by Neurdein 

Louis xiv, with Madame de Maintenon, the Grand 

Dauphin, the Dug de Bourgogne and the Dug 

d'Anjou (afterwards Louis xv) . . . 442 

From the Painting by Largilli^re, in the Wallace 
Collection at Hertford House 



The Duchy of Savoy — Its prominent position in Europe mainly 
the result of its geographical position— Skilful conduct of its 
rulers — Charles Emmanuel i of Savoy and Henry iv — PoUcy of 
the latter prince towards Savoy reversed by Richelieu — The Treaty 
of Cherasco secures Pinerolo to France — French influence all- 
powerful at Turin during the regencies of the Duchess Christine 
and Jeanne Baptiste de Savoie-Nemours — Victor Amadeus ii — 
His remarkable precocity and powers of dissimulation — His dis- 
like of his mother, Madame Royale, who denies him all share in the 
government which she exercises in his name — His hostility towards 
France — The Regent arranges an alliance between her son and the 
Infanta Dona Isabella Luisa of Portugal — Victor Amadeus 
attains his majority and postpones the marriage for two years — 
The Duke intrigues against his mother — Rupture of the Portuguese 
marriage-project — Negotiations for an alUance between Victor 
Amadeus and Maria Anna Luisa de' Medici abandoned owing to 
the opposition of Louis xiv — The Duke is constrained to accept 
the hand of Anne Marie d'Orleans — The marriage celebrated by 
procuration at Versailles (April 8, 1684) — Victor Amadeus eman- 
cipates himself from Madame Royale's control and takes the govern- 
ment of his dominions into his own hands 

EVER since the days of Humbert aux Blanches 
Mains (985-1048), from which the auto- 
nomy and history of Savoy may be said to 
date, that little State occupied in Europe a pro- 
minence altogether out of proportion to its size 
and its resources. For this, of course, it was 
chiefly indebted to its geographical position. The 


rulers of Savoy were the gate-keepers of the Alps ; 
their eastern gate gave access to Italy, their 
western, to France and Switzerland; and their 
alliance was constantly of vital importance to their 
more powerful neighbours. 

And the immense advantages which Nature had 
placed in their hands the rulers of Savoy exploited 
to most excellent purpose. The centuries passed ; 
counts and dukes succeeded one another ; some 
reigned in peace, others saw their territories over- 
run by half the nations of the Continent ; but all 
seem to have been animated by the desire for 
aggrandizement, and to have possessed a remarkably 
keen appreciation of the marketable value of their 
friendship. And ever the dominions of their House 
— that House which was some day to wield the 
sceptre of a united Italy — expanded, now on one 
side of the Alps, now on the other, since the weak 
are generally more crafty than the strong, and 
the pen of the diplomatist often proves a more 
serviceable weapon than the sword of the con- 

However, the acquisitions of the House of Savoy 
on the western side of the Alps were not destined 
to be permanent ; and, in June 1601, the astute 
Charles Emmanuel i, having come to the conclusion 
that the hereditary ambition of his family could 
best be satisfied in Italy, abandoned his dream of 
ruUng over a reconstructed Burgundian kingdom 
which was to extend to the Rhone, and ceded to 
Henri iv the counties of Bresse, Bugey, Gex, 
and Valromey, forming the modern Department of 
the Ain, in exchange for the marquisate of Saluzzo 
in Piedmont, a strip of country lying in the shadow 


of Monte Viso, and communicating directly with 
France by the passes of the Briangonnais Alps.^ 

From that time, the House of Savoy regarded 
itself as an Italian State ; and, if Henri iv had 
lived a year or two longer, it would in all prob- 
ability have acquired a preponderating influence 
in Upper Italy, since there was an understanding 
between Henri and Charles Emmanuel that, after 
the latter had assisted in driving the Spaniards out 
of the peninsula, he should receive Lombardy, in 
return for the cession of Savoy and his possessions, in 
the East of France. But the knife of Ravaillac 
brought this and many other calculations to 
naught, and it was not till two and a half centuries 
later that the hopes which Charles Emmanuel had 
cherished were realised. 

Louis XIII — or rather Richelieu — pursued towards 
Savoy a different policy from that of Henri iv. 
Henri had desired to make Savoy the friend and 
ally of France ; Richelieu wished to make her a 
vassal. Charles Emmanuel naturally objected, and 
prepared to throw himself into the arms of Spain ; 
but, in January 1629, a French army, commanded by 
Louis XIII in person, forced the passes of the Alps 
and took Susa, and the Duke was forced to sue 
for pardon and embrace His Majesty's boot : an 
act of humiliation which Louis " made not the 
semblance of an attempt to prevent." ^ 

^ Although Henri iv's acquisition was territorially four times 
as great as Savoy's, he lost the footing in Italy which had cost his 
predecessors so much blood and treasure, and Lesdiguiferes remarked 
bitterly : " Le roi de France a fait une paix de marchand, et Monsieur 
de Savoie a fait un paix de roi." 

^ Saint-Simon, Memoires. Claude de Saint-Simon, father of the 
author, was an eye-witness of this episode. 


In the early spring of the following year, Charles 
Emmanuel i died, his end having been hastened 
by grief and mortification, and was succeeded 
by his son Victor Amadeus i, who had married, 
in 1619, Marie Christine de France, Henri iv's 
eldest daughter. Upon him, in 1631, Richeheu 
imposed the Treaty of Cherasco, whereby the 
fortress of Pinerolo — better known, perhaps, by 
the gallicized form of the name — and with it the 
entrance to Piedmont, was secured to France. 
This acquisition was regarded by Richelieu as a 
great triumph for French supremacy; but, though 
it certainly made him more formidable than ever 
to the Imperialists in Italy, France was called upon 
to pay a heavy price for it in after years. Just as 
the sight of Calais in English hands had been to 
France a constant source of exasperation, so the 
French occupation of Pinerolo was regarded by 
Savoy as a national humiliation which must at 
all costs be removed, and until the end of the 
seventeenth century her whole policy was sub- 
ordinated to one object — its restoration. " All 
her manoeuvres, all her subterfuges, all her dupli- 
cities will be explained by that. She will leave 
one alliance to enter into another, according as 
she believes that a greater or less chance exists of 
obtaining Pinerolo in exchange. Pinerolo, in the 
hands of the French, was, according to the ener- 
getic expression of Carutti, ' Piedmont in servitude,' 
and from this servitude the Dukes of Savoy will 
continually seek to escape." ^ 

Victor Amadeus i died in 1637, leaving a son, 

1 Comte d'Haussonville, la Duchesse de Bourgogne et l' Alliance 
savoyarde sous Louis xiv. 


Charles Emmanuel 11, a child of three, and the 
regency in the hands of his widow, Christine of 
France, Madame Royale as she was called.^ 
Madame Royale naturally inclined towards the 
country of her birth, and for many years French 
influence predominated at the Court of Turin. 
Her policy was continued by Marie Jeanne Baptiste 
de Savoie-Nemours,^ the second wife of Charles 
Emmanuel 11,* likewise called Madame Royale, a 
beautiful, fascinating, and intelligent, but dis- 
solute and unscrupulous woman, who, on her 
husband's death, in 1675, also assumed the reins 
of government, and was even more blindly devoted 
to French interests than the previous regent. 

By his marriage with Jeanne - Baptiste de 
Savoie-Nemours, Charles Emmanuel 11 had a son, 
Victor Amadeus 11, who at the time of his father's 
death was nine years old. He was a delicate 
lad — indeed, during his childhood it had been 
feared that he would never live to grow up ; and he 
is said to have owed his preservation to the good 
sense of a village doctor named Petechia, whom 
the Duchess called in, and who, having vetoed the 
various drugs prescribed by the Court physicians, 
ordered the little patient to be brought up 
on the very simplest fare, and thus saved his 

^ Madama Reale ; but we employ the French form, which seems 
to be generally used, not only by French, but by English historians. 

^ She was the daughter of Charles Amedee de Savoie, Due de 
Nemours, who was kiUed by his brother-in-law, Frangois de Vendome, 
Due de Beaufort, in a celebrated duel in 1652. See the author's 
"A Princess of Intrigue " (London, Hutchinson ; New York, 
Putnams, 1907). 

' His first wife was Franfoise d'Orleans, Mile, de Valois, daughter 
of Gaston d'Orleans, brother of Louis xiii. She died a few months 
after the marriage. 


and so disgusted the young Duke that on the rare 
occasions when Madame Royale condescended to 
embrace her son before retiring for the night, the 
latter was observed to rub his cheek vigorously, 
as though he had been touched by some plague- 
stricken person.^ 

Victor Amadeus felt keenly, too, the humiliating 
position to which his country was reduced, for 
Louis XIV, pushed by Louvois and encouraged 
by the complaisance of Madame Royale, treated 
Savoy as an appanage of the crown of France, 
rather than an jindependent State, and the 
condition of servitude to which he desired to 
condemn her grew every year more intolerable. 
The climax was reached in 1681, when the King of 
France, not content with the possession of Pinerolo, 
purchased from Charles iv, Duke of Mantua, the 
fortress of Casale and established a garrison there, 
thus securing the free passage of his troops through 
Piedmont and shutting in Turin on both sides. 
To wrest Casale from France became, from that 
time, in the eyes of Victor Amadeus, an object 
second only in importance to the recovery of 

However, the young sovereign felt that the 
moment when he would be in position to attempt the 
liberation of his kingdom from the yoke of France 
was yet far distant, as, before any steps could be 
taken in that direction, he must first secure his 
own emancipation from the tutelage of his mother. 
He was, therefore, at pains to dissimulate the 
hostility which he entertained towards France, 
the more so, since he was aware that the goodwill 

' Camille Rousset, Histoire de Louvois. 


of Louis XIV would be of material assistance to him 
in his efforts to assert his independence of the 
maternal control. 

In 1677, Madame Roy ale proposed to her sister, 
the Queen of Portugal/ a marriage between Victor 
Amadeus and the Infanta Donna Isabella Luisa, 
only child of Dom Pedro of Braganga, King of 
Portugal, and heiress to the throne. A funda- 
mental law of Portugal prohibited an infanta who 
was heiress to the throne from marrying a foreign 
prince ; but Madame Royale overcame this obstacle, 
by proving that her son was not a foreign prince, 
since he was descended in the direct line from Em- 
manuel Philibert, who, in 1580, had been offered 
the throne of Portugal. The Regent was exceed- 
ingly anxious for this match, since the Portuguese 
insisted that both the Infanta and her husband 
must reside in Portugal until the birth of an heir, 
an event which, having regard to the youth of the 
parties, was unlikely to take place for several 
years, during which she would continue to exercise 
uncontrolled influence at Turin. Madame Royale 
forbore to communicate to her son her plans for 
his future until the affair should be so far advanced 
that it would be difficult for him to draw back. 
The boy, however, soon learned from other sources 
what was in the wind ; but his powers of self-control 
enabled him to disguise his feelings, and he allowed 
nothing to escape him which might be interpreted 
either as approval or the reverse. 

His subjects were less reticent, and a strong 

^ Marie de Savoie-Nemours, born June 21, 1646; married 1666 
to Alfonso VI, King of Portugal, and after the dissolution of this 
marriage, two years later, to his younger brother, Pedro 11. 


party among the nobility could not conceal its 
hostility to the proposed expatriation of their 
youthful sovereign. The Marchese Pianezza and 
two other members of the Council of Regency 
entered into a conspiracy to carry off Madame 
Royale, shut her up in a convent, and declare the 
majority of her son. But their intentions were 
discovered by the Regent, and it was the con- 
spirators themselves who went into confinement. 

When at length, in March 1629, the marriage- 
contract stipulated in his name was submitted to 
Victor Amadeus, the young Duke at first flatly 
refused to sign it. But eventually he yielded and 
agreed to ratify it, although he had not yet com- 
pleted his thirteenth year, the age when the Dukes 
of Savoy attained their majority. Nevertheless, 
if he judged it prudent not to protest against the 
alliance which his mother desired to thrust upon 
him, he was none the less determined that nothing 
should induce him to enter into it ; and his first 
act on his majority being proclaimed was to post- 
pone the date of his departure for Portugal for 
two years. 

Although on May 14, 1679, the regency nomin- 
ally came to an end, Madame Royale continued to 
govern with the full consent of her son, whose 
part in affairs of State appeared to be confined 
to signing the decrees which she laid before him. 
But, unknown to his mother, the Duke sent to his 
ambassadors instructions diametrically opposed to 
those which they received from the princess, and 
worked in secret to strengthen his party at the 
Court and in the country, which daily received 
fresh accessions. 




The two years of grace for which Victor Amadeus 
had stipulated expired, and in the spring of 1682 a 
Portuguese squadron of twelve vessels, which had been 
sent to escort the Duke to Lisbon, cast anchor in the 
harbour of Villefranche ; and the Duke of Cadoval, 
in his quality of Ambassador Extraordinary, pro- 
ceeded to Turin, where he met with a very flattering 
reception from the Regent. However, the national 
party was resolved to prevent, even by force, the 
departure of their young sovereign ; and Victor 
Amadeus, encouraged by its attitude, was suddenly 
seized with a diplomatic illness, which the Court 
physicians declared would render it impossible for 
him to undertake the voyage for some months at 

Madame Royale, in despair at the threatened 
failure of her machinations, assured Cadoval that 
the physicians exaggerated the gravity of her son's 
condition, and implored him to wait until he 
should be restored to health. But Cadoval, who 
had become aware of the hostility with which a 
considerable party at the Court regarded the pro- 
jected marriage, and had a shrewd suspicion of 
the nature of the Duke's illness, replied that he 
must seek instructions from Lisbon. These were 
of such a nature that immediately he received them 
he quitted Turin, without even taking leave of 
Madame Royale, and on October i set sail for 

The rupture of the Portuguese marriage-project 
was followed by two comparatively uneventful 
years, during which Madame Royale continued to 
govern, without, so far as appearances went, any 
opposition from her son, who judged the time had 


not yet come to strike a blow for his independence. 
In secret, however, the young Duke continued to 
work to strengthen the hands of his party, and 
kept a very watchful eye on the actions of his 
mother, whose rule he perceived, with great satis- 
faction, was becoming more and more unpopular. 
Meanwhile, the Ministers had been urging the 
advisability of finding a suitable bride for the 
Duke, and in 1684 they proposed a marriage 
between him and Maria Anna Luisa, the daughter 
of Cosmo III, Grand-Duke of Tuscany. Such an 
alliance they represented would be of great ad- 
vantage to Savoy, since it would secure to her an 
ally in Central Italy, whose assistance might prove 
of the highest value against foreign adversaries. 
Victor Amadeus was favourably disposed to the 
project, as was the Grand-Duke of Tuscany, but 
both were very doubtful as to how the matter 
would be regarded by France ; and negotiations 
between the Courts of Turin and Florence were 
carried on with such secrecy, lest any inkling of 
what was under consideration should reach Ver- 
sailles, that no trace of them are to be found in the 
Archives of either city. 

However, Madame Royale, who had been fever- 
ishly anxious for her son's marriage when such an 
event would have necessitated his prolonged 
absence from Savoy, viewed the prospect of one 
which would probably entail his immediate emanci- 
pation from her authority with very different 
feelings, and strove by every means to hinder the 
negotiations, which it was of the utmost importance 
to conclude with the least possible delay. The 
time thus wasted enabled France to discover the 


project. Louis xiv, who did not conceal his dis- 
pleasure on learning that the House of Savoy was 
contemplating an alliance which suggested a desire 
to free itself from his control, immediately resolved 
to intervene ; and, on the pretext of strengthening 
the authority of the Regent, threatened by the 
friction between her and the chiefs of the national 
party, Louvois gave orders for three thousand 
French troops to cross the frontier into Piedmont. 

Madame Royale expostulated vigorously against 
this high-handed action, being well aware that the 
arrival of foreign troops would be the death-blow 
of the little popularity that remained to her. But 
her remonstrances came too late ; the French had 
already entered Piedmont, and there Louis xiv 
intended them to remain until the Tuscan marriage 
had been definitely abandoned. At the same 
time, the French Ambassador at Turin intimated 
to the Regent that it was his master's desire that 
her son should wed a princess of the Royal House 
of France. 

Perceiving the futility of persisting in a course 
which would end by entirely alienating his all- 
powerful neighbour and bringing about the ruin of 
his country, Victor Amadeus summoned the French 
Ambassador to a secret audience, and informed 
him that he had definitely abandoned his intention 
of marrying the daughter of the Grand-Duke of 
Tuscany, and was prepared to accept the hand of 
the princess whom it might please his Most Christian 
Majesty to choose for him. Louis xiv, however, 
had not even waited for this surrender to his will 
to choose the princess who was to become the 
future Duchess of Savoy, and the Duke was forth- 


with informed that a demand for the hand of 
Anne Marie d' Orleans, the second daughter of 
Monsieur'^ by his first wife, the beautiful and 
ill-fated Henrietta of England, immortalised by 
Bossuet, would meet with favourable consideration. 

Madame Royale endeavoured to prolong her 
tenure of power by delaying the nuptials, and 
instructed the Marchese Ferrero della Marmora, 
the Ambassador of Savoy at Versailles, to represent 
to Louis XIV all the satisfaction and gratitude 
which she experienced at the prospect of this 
alliance, but to inform him that the Duke had no 
intention of marrying at present, " since there was 
no example of a prince who had done so at so 
early an age." Such a line of argument from a 
princess who had left no stone unturned to push 
her son into matrimony two years before must 
have caused His Excellency no small amusement. 
But Victor Amadeus sent him secret orders to 
hasten the marriage by every possible means ; and, 
being a prudent man, he not unnaturally preferred 
to serve the interests of the rising rather than of the 
waning star, with the result that the prehminaries 
were settled in a surprisingly short space of time, and 
on April 8, 1684, the nuptials of "the demoiselle Anne 
d' Orleans with the very high and puissant prince, 
Victor Amadeus, Duke of Savoy," were celebrated 
by procuration, at Versailles, with great splendour. 

The bride presented herself at the altar escorted 
by the Duke du Maine, eldest son of Louis xiv 

1 Philippe, Due d'Orleans, younger son of Louis xiii and Anne 
of Austria, and only brother of Louis xiv. Bom 1640 ; married, 
firstly, in 1660, Henrietta of England, daughter of Charles i; 
secondly, in 1671, Elizabeth Charlotte of Bavaria, Princess 
Palatine ; died 1701. 


and Madame de Montespan, and the Conte di 
Magliano, Envoy-Extraordinary of Savoy. She was 
dressed in " a silver brocade trimmed with lace, 
also of silver, and covered with jewels," the train 
of which, borne by her half-sister. Mile, de Chartres, 
was nine ells in length. The princes and princesses 
who assisted at the ceremony were dressed with 
equal magnificence, notwithstanding that the Court 
was still in mourning for the late Queen, Maria 
Theresa of Austria. " Of all the august personages, 
the King and the Dauphin, on account of their 
mourning,^ alone wore no jewels; the rest of the 
company, though dressed in mourning, were covered 
with j ewels. The Duke du Maine wore a black Vene- 
tian costume, the whole of which was ornamented 
with diamonds ; the trimmings were of narrow rose- 
coloured ribbons ; the feathers in his cap were of 
the same colour, covered with diamonds. Nothing 
could be more magnificent than the dress of Madame 
la Dauphine.^ Monsieur's waistcoat was entirely 
covered with diamonds, tied by strings formed of 
diamonds. The Duke de Chartres had a set of 
emeralds ; and his crape shoulder-knot, as well as 
the bow in his cap, sparkled with diamonds. The 
Prince de Conti had diamond buckles on his 
waistcoat. The Comte de Toulouse,^ Mile, de 

^ The mourning of the Royal Family was, of course, violet, not 
black. Up to 1 80 1, when the title of sovereign of France was relin- 
quished, the Kings of England also mourned in violet, because they 
claimed to be Kings of France. James 11, even when the guest of 
Louis XIV at Saint-Germain, adhered to this custom. 

' Maria Anna Christina Victoria^of Bavaria. Born, 1660; married 
1680, to Louis, Dauphin of France ; died 1690. 

' Louis Alexandre de Bourbon, the youngest son of Louis xiv and 
Madame de Montespan. Born in 1678 ; married in 1728 to MUe. de 
Noailles, widow of the Marquis de Gondrin ; died 1737. 


Nantes/ and Mile, de Blois/ owing to their youth, 
were not required to appear in deep mourning ; 
they wore costumes of black and silver, and their 
jewels were arranged in such good taste that they 
aroused murmurs of admiration on all sides. 

" It is a long time," wrote Ferrero to the Duke 
of Savoy, " since such magnificence and an assembly 
so noble and numerous as this one has been, seen." 
Victor Amadeus sent his bride some magnificent 
jewels, which included a pearl-necklace valued at 
30,000 pistoles (about 300,000 francs), a diamond 
pendant, and a diamond- clasp, which Ferrero 
assures the Duke created such a sensation at the 
Court of France, that the King himself had praised 
the good taste shown in their selection, and spoken 
of these objects as truly superb and worthy of the 
occasion." And the Ambassador profited by his 
Majesty's satisfaction to secure an order on the 
Treasury for 100,000 livres on account of the 
princess's dowry,^ which he lost no time in con- 
verting into cash, his master's finances being just 
then in a far from satisfactory condition.* 

The marriage-contract credited Victor Amadeus 

1 Louise Fran9oise de Bourbon, second daughter of Louis xiv 
and Madame de Montespan. Born 1673 ; married 1685, to the 
Due de Bourbon ; died in 1743. 

* Frangoise Marie de Bourbon, youngest daughter of Louis xiv 
and Madame de Montespan. Born 1677 ; married 1692, to the Due 
de Chartres (the future Regent) ; died in 1749. 

' Louis XIV gave his niece a dowry of 900,000 livres, to which he 
added jewellery to the value of 60,000 livres, and 240,000 Uvres 
previously deducted from the dowry of her mother, Henrietta of 
England. Victor Amadeus, in addition to the jewellery above 
mentioned, assured his consort an annual pension of 100,000 livres 
and a dowry of 40,000 livres. 

* Dangeau, Journal ; Comtesse de Faverges, Anne d'OrUans ; 
Gagnifere, Mane Adilaide de Savoie : Lettres et correspondances. 


with sentiments in regard to France which that 
prince was very far from entertaining, and Louis xiv 
with a confidence in his new nephew's amicable 
intentions which is difficult to reconcile with the 
instructions he sent his Ambassador at Turin. But, 
if the autocrat of Versailles had not the smallest 
intention of acting in accordance with his declara- 
tion that " no one could doubt that the very high 
and puissant Princess, Marie Jeanne Baptiste de 
Nemours had succeeded in inspiring her son with 
the same sentiments towards the interests of his 
Majesty which she had shown during the period of 
her regency," he was undoubtedly well satisfied 
with the match, which not only frustrated an 
alliance that might have gone far to neutralise 
the advantage he derived from the possession of 
Pinerolo and Casale, but afforded him, on the 
score of relationship, an excellent pretext for 
interfering in the internal affairs of Savoy. 

Victor Amadeus had much less cause for satis- 
faction. Nevertheless, the mortification which he 
experienced at finding himself compelled, for 
some time at least, to continue the subservience 
towards France which his father and grandfather 
had shown, was sensibly modified by the knowledge 
that his marriage with a niece of Louis xiv assured 
his determination to emancipate himself from the 
control of his mother meeting with no opposition 
from that quarter. 

In this persuasion, no sooner had he learned 
that the negotiations for the marriage had been 
concluded than he summoned two of his con- 
federates, the Principe della Cisterna and the 
Abbate della Torre, with whose assistance he 


task in a manner worthy of the highest praise, and 
under her firm yet kindly guidance the two children 
grew into charming, accomplished, and high- 
principled girls, regarded with affection and respect 
by all who knew them. 

Anne d' Orleans could not pretend to either the 
beauty or the intelhgence which distinguished the 
Queen of Spain, but she was, nevertheless, a far 
from unattractive young lady. At the time of her 
marriage, when she was within a month of com- 
pleting her fifteenth year, she is described as tall 
and graceful, with black hair falling in long curls 
upon white and shapely shoulders, an oval face, 
a high forehead, an aquiline nose, smiling lips, 
and " an air of dignity tempered by an expression 
of goodness." Her countenance did not belie her 
character, for her stepmother, the second Madame — 
no mean judge of her own sex by the way — describes 
her as " one of the most amiable and virtuous 
of women," and speaks in high terms of her tact 
and good sense ; and, indeed, her subsequent 
career proves her to have been a woman of a 
singularly sweet and gentle disposition. 

Immediately after the marriage the princess 
set out for Turin, and on May 6 reached the Pont- 
de-Beauvoisin, which at this period marked the 
boundary between Dauphine and Savoy,^ where 
she was met by Victor Amadeus, at the head of 
his military household, "en grande parade et tym- 
hales sonnantes," escorted by a great number of 
Savoyard and Piedmontese gentlemen. 

1 The Pont-de-BeauvoisiQ was a village situated on the little 
river Guiers. A narrow bridge, from which it derived its name, 
crossed the river, the western half of the bridge being considered 
French territory and the eastern Savoyard. 


The young Duchess, it is related, had been 
carefully instructed by the Conte di Magliano, 
the Envoy-Extraordinary of Savoy, in regard to 
the formalities which it was necessary to observe 
on this important occasion ; but, when she per- 
ceived her husband, she promptly forgot all that 
the worthy count had been at such pains to impress 
upon her, and, hastening forward, threw herself 
into his arms. This bold disregard of etiquette 
greatly shocked the more punctilious members of 
his Highness' s entourage, who could not conceal 
their disapproval. But the Duke, charmed and 
touched by the action, embraced his wife tenderly, 
" and they exchanged for some moments," writes 
an eye-witness, " those first sentiments which beat 
in every heart." ^ 

The same evening, the bridal pair arrived at 
Ghambery, where, in the chapel of the ancient 
chateau, the Archbishop of Grenoble pronounced 
the nuptial blessing upon them, and two days later, 
at two o'clock in the morning, made their entry 
into Turin, amid great rejoicings. 

At the time when he married Anne d' Orleans 
and assumed the government of his dominions, 
Victor Amadeus 11 was just eighteen, but, thanks 
to the peculiar circumstances in which his lot 
had been cast, already possessed of a fund of 
worldly wisdom which many a prince of mature 
years might have envied. His appearance was 
certainly very striking : "Of middle height, 
slender, admirably made. A bearing which denoted 

^ Letter of the Conte Scaravelli, gentleman of the Chamber to 
Victor Amadeus 11, cited by the Comtesse de Fa verges, Anne 


independence and pride, an animated expression, 
aquiline features. He had inherited from the 
House of Nemours very fair hair and eyes of a 
pecixliar shade of blue and of exceptional vivacity." ^ 

His character, according to a contemporary, 
whose account, though a trifle highly - coloured 
here and there, is in the main corroborated by the 
events of the Duke's life, was even more remarkable, 
though far less pleasing. 

" He is a prince with many good and an infinite 
number of bad quaUties. He has a vivid imagina- 
tion, an admirable memory, a great facility of ex- 
pression, a serious application for affairs, ambition, 
a desire for fame, and an incomparable dexterity 
in concealing his designs. But he possesses little 
sense of justice or breadth of view, greater bril- 
liancy than sohdity, a bad heart, a strong feeling 
of hatred and ingratitude towards every one, an 
avarice which extends even to his mistresses, 
little knowledge, little religion, more ostentation 
than true worth, more obstinacy than firmness of 
character, and, above all, a great love of his own 
opinions and contempt for those of others." ^ 

With such a husband it would have been 
difificult for any woman to have found happiness, 
much less a gentle and sensitive girl like Anne 
d' Orleans. Nevertheless, for the first few months 
of her married life her path seemed strewn with 
roses. The handsome young Duke conquered her 
heart at once, and she conceived for him a deep 
affection, a passionate admiration which survived 

^ Costa de Beauregard, Hisioire de la Maison de Savoie. 
* Relation de la Cour de Savoie, in G, de Ldris, la Comtesse de 




all the just causes of complaint which he subse- 
quently gave her and endured to the day of her 
death. She was so proud of being the consort of 
this youthful sovereign, who, at an age when most 
young princes scarcely know the meaning of the 
word affairs, supervised every department of the 
administration like a consummate statesman ; so 
proud of the confidence which he seemed to repose 
in her, and of the deference which he paid to her 
wishes. And, above all, she believed that he 
returned, in some measure at least, the wealth of 
affection which she lavished upon him. 

She was soon disillusioned. Scarcely had the 
f^tes which followed the marriage terminated than 
Victor Amadeus, wearying of conjugal bliss, became 
entirely absorbed in the government of his dominions 
and the organisation of his army, and forgot the 
young wife who thought only of him. When he 
did condescend to remember her existence, it was 
as often as not to complain that she was leading 
either too retired or too gay a life, for he was of 
a changeable humour, and what pleased him one 
week irritated him the next. Nor were his neglect 
and his caprices the only trials which she had to 

The little Court of Turin, as might naturally 
be expected, from its long and intimate connection 
with France, was modelled very closely upon that 
of its powerful neighbour, and in no respect was 
this resemblance more striking than in the matter 
of morals ; indeed, it seemed as though Victor 
Amadeus, in his relations with the opposite sex, 
had taken Louis xiv — that is to say, the Louis xiv 
of twenty years before — for his example. Jeanne 


Baptiste de Nemours, like the late Queen of France, 
had gathered round her a bevy of fair ladies and 
maids-of-honour, drawn from the first families of 
the duchy, who appear to have been well-nigh as 
proficient in the arts of seduction as the celebrated 
escadron volant of Catherine de' Medici. " This 
princess only accepted those of surpassing loveh- 
ness. Thus the sovereign and the young noblemen 
of his suite were able to flit from beauty to beauty, 
and, thanks to the variety of these charming 
objects, to resume their pleasures without ever 
becoming satiated." ^ 

Victor Amadeus, who was of a decidedly ardent 
temperament, did not fail to profit by the favour 
with which these charming objects naturally 
regarded one who was not only their sovereign, 
but a very handsome youth ; and, not long before 
his marriage, he had discovered his La Valliere, 
in the person of a certain Mile, di Cumiana, a 
pretty brunette, " whom he overwhelmed with 
extraordinary benefits, which distinguished her in 
a little time from her colleagues by spoiling her 
figure." ^ This intrigue, which, for " reasons of 
State," Madame Roy ale judged it advisable to put 
an end to, by promptly marrying the young lady 
to her grand equerry, the Conte di San Sebastiano, 
was renewed many years later, and in 1730, when 
the countess had lost her husband and the Duke 
of Savoy — or rather the King of Sardinia, as he 
had then become — his wife, Victor Amadeus con- 
tracted with her a secret marriage, which he 
acknowledged after his abdication. 

^ Lamberti, Histoire de V abdication de Victor Amedie ii. 
2 Ihid. 


The young Duke soon found consolation for the 
loss of his inamorata in the society of another of 
his mother's maids-of-honour. Mile, di Saluzzo by 
name. But, as the damsel in question happened 
to be nearly related to a nobleman who had been 
implicated in the conspiracy against the Regent 
of which we have spoken elsewhere, and Madame 
Royale feared that she might seek to influence her 
son in a direction contrary to her own interests, 
she decided to nip this romance in the bud also, 
and married off the lady to the Comte de Prie. 

Victor Amadeus was at first inconsolable, and, 
a fortnight after the marriage, we find the French 
Ambassador, who had strict injunctions to keep his 
Court informed of every detail of " Monsieur de 
Savoie's " life, writing to Lou vols that " the 
attachment of the Duke for Madame de Prie 
seemed stronger than ever." Madame Royale now 
took the prudent step of appointing the Comte de 
Prie Ambassador of Savoy at Vienna, and, after 
a while, Victor Amadeus appeared to forget all 
about the lady, his interest in whom had perhaps 
been stimulated by a spirit of opposition to his 
mother's authority. Shortly before his marriage 
with Anne d' Orleans, however, the count and his 
wife returned to Turin, and when the prince's 
all too-brief honeymoon had terminated, it began 
to be remarked that his Highness was paying his 
former enchantress considerable attention. But 
the liaison — if liaison there were — was conducted 
very discreetly, and does not appear to have 
occasioned the young Duchess much uneasiness. 

Very different was the state of affairs when 
Jeanne-Baptiste d'Albert de Luynes, Contessa di 


Verrua, the heroine of Dumas fare's romance, 
la Dame de Volupti, appeared upon the scene. 
The countess was, hke the legitimate owner of the 
ducal affections, a Frenchwoman, one of the five 
daughters of Louis Charles, Due de Luynes, a pious 
and estimable old gentleman and a profound 
admirer of the devots of Port-Royal. There was, 
however, nothing of the Jansenist in the career 
or character of Jeanne-Baptiste, and it was perhaps 
just as well that the worthy Duke was gathered to 
his fathers within a few weeks of completing his 
seventieth year, since otherwise he must have 
experienced even more than the usual share of 
labour and sorrow which is supposed to fall to 
those who exceed the allotted span of life. 

In August 1683, when she was not yet fourteen,^ 
Jeanne-Baptiste was married to the Conte di 
Verrua, a young Piedmontese noble connected with 
the ancient family of Scaglia, and, some six months 
before the marriage of Anne d' Orleans, came to 
reside with her husband in Turin. 

" Most of his daughters were beautiful," says 
Saint-Simon, in speaking of the Due de Luynes, 
" but this one [the Contessa di Verrua] was ex- 
tremely so." But the girl possessed something 
more than mere perfection of face and form, and 
the testimony of her contemporaries is almost 
unanimous in declaring her to have been one of the 
most fascinating women of her time, — witty, viva- 
cious, amiable, and intelligent. 

For four years Madame di Verrua seems to have 

* She was born on January 18, 1670, and not on October 8, 1675, as 
stated by the Comte d'Haussonville, in his la Duchesse de Bourgogne. 
The distinguished historian has confused her with her younger sister, 
who married, in 1698, the Comte de Clermont-Lodfeve. 


frequented the Court, where her husband held 
the post of Gentleman of the Chamber to Victor 
Amadeus, without arousing more than a passing 
interest in the Duke. But during the severe 
winter of 1687-1688, when for some weeks the 
country round Turin was covered with snow and 
sleighing parties were much in vogue, we find 
d'Arcy, the French Ambassador, reporting that 
the invariable occupant of the Duke's sledge was 
" Madame di Verrua, a daughter of the Due de 
Luynes, about seventeen or eighteen years of age, 
beautiful and very modest." ^ 

The intimacy between his Highness and the 
lady made rapid progress, and, a month later, the 
Ambassador writes again : — 

" Since your Majesty continues to give me orders 
to keep him informed very precisely of the private 
employments and amusements of the Duke of 
Savoy, I must inform him that, since he took 
young Madame di Verrua out sleighing, he appears 
to continue, and even to redouble, his attentions 
to her. Not a day passes at the Opera but he is 
seen in this lady's box, where they laugh so loudly 
together that they attract every one's attention. 
However, the lady's youth and high spirits may 
be more accountable for this, at least on her side, 
than anything else, and as yet one cannot perceive 
any understanding between them which justifies 
the suspicion of an approaching intrigue." ^ 

But d'Arcy was mistaken, and before many 
months had passed the nature of the relations 

* D'Arcy to Louis xiv, January 17, 1688, published by M. G. de 
Leris, la Comtesse de Verrue. 

" Despatch of February 14, 1688. 


between Victor Amadeus and Madame di Verrua no 
longer permitted of any doubt. To do the lady 
justice, however, she did not capitulate without a 
struggle, and even took refuge for a time with 
her father in France, to escape the compromising 
attentions of the Duke. Induced to return to 
Turin, her life, if we are to beUeve Saint-Simon, 
was rendered so unendurable by the malicious 
accusations brought against her by an uncle of 
her husband, the Abbate di Verrua, whose odious 
advances she had scornfully rejected, that " virtue 
eventually yielded to dementia and to the ill 
treatment to which she was subjected at home; 
she listened to M. de Savoie and delivered herself 
to him to deliver herself from persecutors." ^ 
Nevertheless, if Madame di Verrua's surrender was 
a reluctant one, when once the die had been cast, 
she showed a remarkably keen appreciation of the 
rights and prerogatives attached to the position of 
mattresse en titre, and exercised over her royal 
lover, who had hitherto been credited with far too 
much shrewdness ever to permit himself to become 
the victim of a really serious attachment, an 
empire even more despotic than Madame de 
Montespan had wielded over Louis xiv. 

Following the evil example set him by le Grand 
Monarque, who had named his mistress Super- 
intendent of the Queen's Household, Victor 
Amadeus appointed Madame di Verrua his wife's 
Mistress of the Robes, legitimated the two children 
whom he had by her, and, though as a rule parsi- 
monious to the last degree, overwhelmed her with 
benefits. Her toilettes were the envy and despair 

^ M&moires, 


of all the ladies of the Court ; her apartments in 
the palace were furnished with a sublime disregard 
for expense, and filled with bronzes, cameos, 
porcelain, 'statuary, and valuable pictures — for the 
countess was an insatiable art-collector — and, when 
she travelled, her retinue was composed of the 
greatest nobles of Savoy, and governors and pre- 
fects waited upon her to offer her homage. The 
almost sovereign honours paid to her were not 
confined to the dominions of the Duke of Savoy, 
for when in 1695 she passed through the Milanese, 
on her way to the waters of San Moritz, we hear 
of her being received with the firing of cannon, 
escorted by torchlight processions, and regaled with 
sumptuous banquets. 

Madame di Verrua's reign lasted twelve years — 
until the autumn of 1700 — at the end of which 
time, growing weary of the restraints imposed upon 
her liberty by the Duke, and the frequent and 
violent quarrels to which his jealousy and her own 
indiscretions gave rise, she profited by Victor 
Amadeus's absence from Turin to escape to France, 
with the assistance of her younger brother, the 
Chevalier de Luynes,^ having first taken the pre- 
caution to transfer the greater part of her art 
collection to Paris. For some four years previously 
she appears to have been in the pay of France, and 
to have been in the habit of communicating to 
that Court anything of importance which Victor 
Amadeus happened to let fall in his unguarded 
moments ; and the fear that her treachery was in 

* The Chevalier de Lu5rQes was a captain in the French Navy, 
and displayed on this occasion all the fertility of resource which we 
are accustomed to associate with that profession. 


danger of being discovered was probably not un- 
connected with her flight. 

The Duke of Savoy, on learning of his mistress's 
desertion, so far from being " wounded to the 
quick," as Saint-Simon would have us believe, 
received the news with an equanimity bordering on 
indifference ; and when his representative in Paris, 
the Conte di Vernone, demanded how he was to 
treat the fugitive, contented himself by replying 
that he pardoned her conduct, since she had acted 
under the influence of her brothers. He never saw 
or corresponded with her again, though in October 
1702 we find him instructing Vernone to visit her and 
render her any assistance she required, adding : " We 
shall always retain a sincere regard for this lady." ^ 

Madame di Verrua passed the four years which 
followed her flight from Turin, partly at Dampierre, 
the country-seat of the de Luynes family, and 
partly in a convent ; but, after the death of her 
husband in the Battle of Blenheim had left her 
entire mistress of her actions, she took up her 
residence in Paris, where she passed the rest of 
her life. She died on November 18, 1736, in her 
sixty-seventh year, leaving behind her one of the 
finest private art-collections in Europe, containing 
some splendid examples of the work of Teniers, 
Rubens, Van Dyck, Rembrandt, and other Flemish 
masters, and a library of several thousand volumes, 
which comprised many rare and valuable works. 
The inventory of her possessions, which necessi- 
tated more than two months' continuous labour, 
covers forty quires of large-sized paper.* 

1 A. Gagnifere, Marie AdSlatde de la Savoie : Lettres et Cones- 
pondances. ' G. de L6ris, la Comtesse de Verrue„ 


Shortly before her death, Madame di Verrua is 
said to have composed for herself the following 
epitaph — 

Ci-git dans line paix profonde 

Cette dame de volupt6, 

Qui, pour plus grande sdret6, 

Fit son paradis en ce monde. 

During the years that Madame di Verrua' s 
reign lasted, poor Anne d' Orleans garnered, as 
may be imagined, a plentiful crop of humiliations ; 
nevertheless, she continued to oppose to her 
husband's neglect and infidelities an unalterable 
resignation, and to render the most implicit obedi- 
ence tp his imperious and capricious will. Did 
the Duke express a desire that, during his absence 
with the Army, she should lead a retired life, 
" her Royal Highness passed her time in the most 
extraordinary retirement, and we only meet at 
the promenade or when we visit churches to- 
gether." ^ Did he, in order to ingratiate himself 
with Louis XIV, who had reproached him with 
" leading a solitary life, contrary to the indispens- 
able needs of absolute power," resolve to impart 
a little gaiety to his Court, the Duchess immediately 
organised fetes, balls, and card-parties, and danced 
and gambled till the small hours of the morning, 
abandoning, however, these unaccustomed diver- 
sions with equal promptitude the moment Victor 
Amadeus judged it safe to revert to his former 
habits of economy. 

Nor did this sweet-tempered and loyal wife 
confine herself to mere obedience to her husband's 

^ Letter of Madame Royale to Madame de la Fayette, G. de 
Leris, la Comtesse de Venue. 


wishes, but lavished upon him the most touching 
proofs of her love and devotion. 

Victor Amadeus, as we have seen, had given 
very early evidence that he had inherited the 
martial instincts of his race, and he held it to be 
the imperative duty of a sovereign to command 
his troops in person. When he was but twelve 
years of age, some one happened to refer in his 
presence to the failure of a campaign which had 
been undertaken during the reign of his father, 
Charles Emmanuel ii, against the Republic of 
Genoa. He inquired whether the Duke had him- 
self directed the operations, and, on being told 
that he had not, observed : "I shall never make 
war without being at the head of my armies, and 
I shall recommend my successors to do the same." 
He was faithful to this resolution, and, since war 
was the almost permanent condition of his reign, 
found himself obliged to spend the greater part of 
his time in the camp. As a general, he showed no 
little skill, as well as remarkable courage and 
tenacity; but his health, never vigorous, was 
severely tried by the fatigues and privations he 
was compelled to undergo, and this occasioned the 
Duchess the most intense anxiety. Whenever 
her husband was absent on a campaign, she 
never knew a moment's peace of mind until his 
return, and the torments of anxiety which she 
suffered on his account are pathetically depicted 
in the numerous letters written by her, preserved 
in the State Archives of Turin. Her letters were 
at first addressed to Victor Amadeus himself, but, 
since the Duke detested writing except on affairs of 
State, and seems to have seldom or never troubled 


to reply to them — in the whole voluminous port- 
folio devoted to his correspondence in the Turin 
Archives there is not a single letter addressed to 
his wife — she was forced to have recourse to the 
Marquis de Saint-Thomas, the Duke's confidential 
Minister, who always accompanied him on his cam- 
paigns, and directed him to keep her informed with un- 
failing regularity of the state of his master's health. 
When, during his absences, Anne learned that 
he was ill — which happened several times — her 
anxiety knew no bounds, and she wrote demanding, 
in the most touching terms, permission to join 
him. " Give me this consolation," she writes to 
him on August 30, 1692, when he was lying danger- 
ously ill of small-pox at Embrun ; " it would be the 
greatest mark of affection which you could bestow 
upon me. I assure you that I can come without 
causing the least embarrassment. Only my two 
ladies need accompany me. I shall be satisfied at 
being near you, and you will see of what a tender 
affection is capable. I shall neglect nothing which 
can show you that I love you as my own life." ^ 

On this occasion, the permission she so ardently 
desired was accorded her, and, braving the con- 
tagion, she established herself at her husband's 
bedside and tended him with unremitting care. 
As Victor Amadeus was in a most critical condition 
when she arrived, and the Duchess states, in a 
letter to Madame Royale, that no doctors were 

' state Archives of Turin, published by the Marchesa Vitell- 
eschi, "The Romance of Savoy;" This letter — or rather portions 
of it — has also been published by Luisa Sarredo {Anna di Savoia), 
Madame de Faverges {Anne d'OrUans), and the Comte d'Hausson- 
ville {la Duchesse de Bourgogne), but neither of the last three writers 
gives the date. 


available, it is probable that, under Heaven, it was 
to her devoted nursing that he owed his recovery. 
Nevertheless, his gratitude was of short duration, 
and scarcely was his health re-established, than 
Madame di Verrua resumed her empire over him. 

In these years of neglect and humiliation the 
only joys which Anne d' Orleans seems to have 
known were those of maternity, which, since she 
bore her husband eight children, and had, besides, 
several miscarriages, were not spared her. Of her 
numerous family, however, two sons and two 
daughters alone survived their infancy. The elder 
son, a handsome and intelligent lad, died in his 
sixteenth year ; the younger, a pitiable contrast 
to his brother in both mind and body, lived to 
succeed his father as Charles Emmanuel iii. Of 
the girls, the elder, Maria Luisa, married Philip v 
of Spain, and became the ancestress of the Spanish 
Bourbons ; the elder, Marie Adelaide — better known 
to history by the gallicized form of her name, by 
which we propose to speak of her — is the subject 
of the present volume. 

Marie Adelaide was the Duchess's firstborn, 
and made her appearance in the world on Decem- 
ber 6, 1685. The little lady's arrival nearly cost 
her mother her life ; indeed, Anne's condition was 
at one time so critical that the viaticum was 
administered. However, after two very anxious 
days, during which, according to d'Arcy, " the 
Court, the town, and every one were in a state of 
consternation and affliction which had never been 
surpassed," ^ she was declared out of danger, a 

1 D'Arcy to Louis xiv, January i, 1686. 


result which seems to have been chiefly due to the 
attentions lavished upon her by Victor Amadeus, 
whom gratification at becoming a father, and the 
fear of losing his long-suffering consort, had moment- 
arily roused from his habitual indifference. " The 
Duke of Savoy," writes d'Arcy, " performs his 
duties as a good husband and father. He has had 
a little camp-bed taken to his wife's room, in order 
that he may sleep there, and is continually mounting 
to the princess's [Marie Adelaide] apartment." ^ 

The baptism of the little princess, which took 
place on December 1685, Madame Royale and 
Victor Amadeus' s uncle. Prince Philibert di Carig- 
nano, acting as sponsors, was not accompanied by 
any great rejoicings, for the Court was sorely dis- 
appointed that the new arrival was not a boy.* 
At Versailles there was much discussion as to 
whether etiquette demanded that an envoy should 
be sent to Turin to compliment the Duke of Savoy, 
" since it was only a daughter." But, after pre- 
cedents had been consulted, it was found that 
his Majesty had sent one to Lisbon on the occa- 
sion of the birth of the Infanta Isabella Luisa, 
the princess whom Madame Royale had once 
intended as the bride of Victor Amadeus ; and the 
Marquis d'Urfe, a grand-nephew of Honore d'Urfe, 
the author of I'Astree, was chosen for the mission. 

When d'Urfe reached Turin, the Duchess was 

^ D'Arcy to Louis xiv, December 8, 1685. 

' In December 1698, Marie Adelaide, then Duchesse de Bour- 
gogne, wrote to Madame Royale : " I believe, my dear grandmother, 
that I did not occasion you much joy thirteen years ago, and that 
you would have preferred a boy ; but, from aU the kindness that 
you have shown, I cannot doubt that you have forgiven me for 
being a girl." 


still confined to her bed, which the envoy describes, 
in one of his despatches, as " rather handsome, 
with canopy and hangings of crimson velvet 
embroidered with pearls." And he adds : " Those 
who have not seen the furniture which the King 
[Louis xiv] possesses imagine it to be the finest 
in the world. As I am not charged to disabuse 
their minds, I contented myself by expressing my 
opinion in such a way as to let them understand 
that it is sumptuous, but not the finest that I have 
seen." ^ 

Before the envoy returned to France, however, 
her Highness was sufficiently recovered to be 
churched. On these occasions it was the custom 
at Turin, after the ecclesiastical ceremony had 
been performed, for the Duchess to receive all the 
ladies of the Court, who each in turn approached 
and kissed her hand. The beauty of the Turinese 
ladies was celebrated throughout Europe, but 
d'Urfe could not be prevailed upon to admit that 
their charms were in any way comparable to those 
of his own fair countrywomen, and " praised them 
as he had praised the bed." 

Some eighteen months later (August 15, 1688), 
the Duchess of Savoy gave birth to a second 
daughter, Maria Luisa, the future Queen of 
Spain. On this occasion, Victor Amadeus had 
been so confident of an heir that he had already 
nominated the envoys who were to carry the glad 
tidings to all the Courts of Europe, and he did not 
attempt to conceal from his consort the mortifica- 
tion which this contretemps occasioned him. In- 

1 D'Urfe to Croissy, January 14, 1686, published by the Comte 


deed, the ostentatious indifference he displayed 
towards the poor lady about this time was the 
subject of public comment ; and Monsieur, highly 
indignant at the manner in which his daughter 
was being treated, appealed to Louis xiv to remind 
the Duke of Savoy of the respect he owed to a 
princess of the blood royal. This ill-advised inter- 
ference in his domestic affairs greatly irritated 
Victor Amadeus, and, instead of bringing about 
any improvement in his attitude towards his wife, 
seems to have estranged him still further from her. 
However, if the Duke of Savoy seemed to resent 
the arrival of his two little daughters as a personal 
grievance, they proved an infinite consolation to 
their mother, and, as they grew older, they became 
more and more the principal interest of her sad and 
lonely life. Whereas in those days the children of 
the great, and in particular of royal persons, 
were usually left very much to the care of their 
attendants, and the gouvernante of a young princess 
often filled, to all intents and purposes, the place 
of a mother, the Duchess preferred to keep her 
daughters with her as much as possible, and to 
confine the authority of their preceptresses to the 
exercise of purely scholastic duties. Even these 
would appear to have been performed in a very 
perfunctory manner, as, although Marie Adelaide's 
sous-gouvernante, the Comtesse des Noyers,^ had 
the reputation of being a lady of the very highest 
attainments, she never succeeded in teaching her 
pupil either how to write or to spell, and to the end 

' Fran90ise de Lucinge, granddaughter of^Guillaume de Lucinge, 
Comte de Faucigny. The name is sometimes written Dunoyer, 
but the above appears to be its correct form. 


of her life the princess remained faithful to the 
laborious copybook hand of her childhood — which 
perhaps accounts for the brevity of her epistles — 
while her spelHng was a thing to marvel at, even in 
an age of fantastic orthography.^ 

The Duchess Anne did not care for Turin, and 
during the frequent and prolonged absences of her 
husband from his capital, she was accustomed to 
pass the most of her time with her children at one 
or other of the country-residences of the Crown. 
Of these there were several within the compass of 
a few miles from the city. In the south-eastern 
environs, on the banks of the Po, in the midst of 
a spacious park, now the Giardino Pubblico, stood 
the Castello del Valentino, an imposing chateau 
in the French Renaissance style, with four towers, 
built for Christine of France. Some four miles 
farther south, was the Chateau of Moncaheri — 
now the residence of Princess Clotilda of Saxony, 
widow of Prince Jerome Bonaparte — perched on a 
height above the town of that name, and command- 

* Here are two amusing specimens of her spelling and punctua- 
tion, the first written a few days after her arrival in France, the 
second some eighteen months later. Both letters are addressed 
to her grandmother, Jeanne-Baptiste de Nemours : — 

" De Versaie ce 13 Novembre [1696]. 
" Vous me pardonere Madame si ie ne uous est pas ecrit la peur 
de uous anuier me la fait fair ie fini Madame uous embrasan. — Tres 
humble tres obeisantes petite fille, M. Adelaide de Sauoie." 

" Versaile ce 25 Mars, 1698. 
" lespere que iescrire assez bien, ma chere grandmaman jai un 
maitre qui se donne beaucoup de paine jaurois grans tort de ne pas 
proffitter des soins qu'on prend de tout ce que me regarde la D. du 
Lude estre revenue auprais de moy dont je suis ravie et il est vrais 
que Mme. de Mentenon me voit Ie plus souvent qui lui est possible 
ie croys pouvoir vous assurer sans saut [trop ?] me flatter que ces 
deux dames maimen. Ne douttes jamais ma chere gran maman que 
ie ne vous aime tous jours autan que ie Ie dois." 

l^-^tji/Ze^/, £f7 /jr^uft?yicr A dlrn 77taj ^di? 772cmijcfQ/ae ^adf /aDnuuhttie., ^tz /77^et JelllaJ^ 
^uJ)iJ£: Dc Cnot'h'iStJ. ft c)c' 77Jcza'^ "^j-a. Soeitf^, ae^J^rirtca^x^^pferi^tz-J^i^-if 5^ Sana ae. lilnion^jno 

7rjS/'/<? /??:/^- v\ V\ '\'i'/j ivdiJ Mc'if7<a tin flam S^Cde F^-art.ft't 




ing a magnificent view of the surrounding country. 
About the same distance from Turin, in an easterly 
direction, was Rivoh, where, in 1684, Victor 
Amadeus had announced his assumption of the 
government of his dominions, and which, by a 
singular coincidence, was to witness, fifty-six years 
later, his formal abdication of the authority which 
he had exercised with such extraordinary ability 
and success ; while a Httle to the north lay II 
Veneria, the Versailles of the Dukes of Savoy. 
But the favourite residence of the Duchess was the 
Vigna di Madame, a charming country-house on 
the slopes of a wooded hill overlooking the Po, 
about half an hour's drive from the capital. The 
Vigna, which derived its name from the vineyards 
which had once occupied the spot on which it 
stood, had been built, in 1649, by Cardinal Maurice 
of Savoy, younger son of Charles Emmanuel i, 
who cleared away the vines and laid out the grounds 
in terraces in the French fashion of the period. 
On his death, he left the property on which he 
had expended so much money and care to his 
niece, Ludovica Maria of Savoy, who in her turn 
bequeathed it to the successive princesses of her 

In later years, when Marie Adelaide and her 
sister had left their home, the elder for Versailles, 
the younger for Madrid, the name of the Vigna is 
frequently mentioned in their letters as that of the 
place where the greater part of their childhood was 
passed. But, though this little palace, " hidden 

* The Marchesa Vitelleschi, " The Romance of Savoy." After 
the Duchess Anne became Queen of Sicily, the Vigna di Madame 
was known as the Villg, della Regina, which name it still retains. 
It is now an institute for the daughters of military of&cers. 


in a nest of verdure," was undoubtedly a delightful 
residence, and the pure, invigorating air of the 
hillside made it an equally desirable resort from 
the Court physicians' point of view,^ it is to be 
feared that, as they grew older, the two girls must 
have found their sojourns there decidedly dull, 
since the Duchess brought only a small part of her 
Household with her, and passed nearly the whole 
of her time out of doors ; and the only recreation 
which she seems to have permitted her daughters 
were long walks, in which she herself was generally 
their companion. " You are then all alone in 
Turin, since my mother and brothers have gone 
to the Vigna," wrote the Queen of Spain to her 
grandmother, Madame Royale, some years later. 
" The small number of persons whom she has taken 
with her does not surprise me, since it was the 
same in my time." ^ 

The Duchess was the most tender and devoted 
of mothers. She insisted on nursing her daughters 
with her own hands in all their childish ailments, 
and once, when one of the young princesses had 
contracted some contagious malady, she shut 
herself up with her, and would not permit even 
Madame Royale to enter the sick-room. Never- 
theless, despite the care and affection which she 
lavished upon the girls, there was little of that 
intimacy between her and her children which we 
should naturally expect to find, and this is par- 
ticularly noticeable in regard to the future Duchesse 
de Bourgogne. It was her grandmother, Madame 

^ It was here that Victor Amadeus came to recruit his shattered 
health after the serious illness of which we have already spoken. 

* Contessa della Rocca, Correspondance inidiie de la Duchesse de 
Bourgogne et de la Reine d'Espagne. 


Royale, and not her mother, ' who seems to have 
been the recipient of Marie Adelaide's childish 
confidences ; it is to her to whom, in years to come, 
she will write those brief yet charming letters, 
full of little details about herself and her life at 
the French Court, whom she will implore not to 
love less than her sister, with whom she will desire 
" to share all her troubles." In the Archives of 
Turin, which contain more than a hundred of her 
letters to Madame Royale, only eight addressed to 
her mother are to be found, and these, though 
affectionate in tone, are always a trifle ceremonious. 
" I pique myself now on being a great personage," 
she writes to her, in January 1702, " and I think 
that ' Mamma ' is not suitable. But I shall love 
my dear mother even more than my dear mamma, 
because I shall be better able to understand all your 
worth, and all that I owe to you." To her mother, 
indeed, she is the dutiful, obedient, and grateful 
daughter, but it is from her grandmother that she 
will seek counsel and sympathy. 

Nor is this difficult of explanation. It is a sad 
but undeniable fact that to very young girls the 
beautiful, fascinating, light-hearted woman of the 
world, whose mUier is to charm and amuse all 
about her, appeals far more strongly than her 
grave, devout, retiring sister, however worthy of 
confidence and affection the latter may be; and, 
from the little princesses' point of view, the widow 
of Charles Emmannel 11 was a much more attractive 
personality than their own mother. 

What few pretensions to beauty Anne d' Orleans 
had possessed at the time of her marriage had not 
survived the tribulations of childbirth, which had 


been for her peculiarly severe, and on more than 
one occasion had nearly cost her her life ; while 
her natural seriousness of disposition had been 
intensified by her repeated disappointments at the 
non-appearance of the son so ardently desired, and 
by the infidelities and neglect of her husband. 
Excellent woman though she was, she does not 
appear to have understood that it was her duty to 
forget her own sorrows when in the company of 
her little daughters, to affect an interest in their 
childish amusements, and to do everything in her 
power to gladden their lives ; that children are 
attracted by gaiety and repelled by melancholy ; 
that though daily attendance at Mass and listening 
to the reading of works of devotion may be good 
for the youthful soul, and long " constitutionals " 
excellent for the body, the mind occasionally 
requires a little distraction ; and that the mother 
who would gain the confidence and affection of 
her children must be to them something more than 
a moral preceptress. 

On the other hand, the years had dealt leniently 
with Jeanne-Baptiste de Nemours, who, although 
she had grown somewhat stout, was still beautiful, 
while she had retained all her wonderful charm of 
manner. With the approach of old age, she had 
renounced the gallantries which had disgraced the 
first half of her life, and, disdaining to have recourse 
to art to repair the ravages of Time, had accepted 
it in the spirit of the true philosopher, finding, as 
so many women of a like temperament have done 
both before and since, consolation for the loss of 
her adorers in the homage paid to her intelligence 
and wit. Her circle, however, would appear to 


have been a somewhat Hmited one, since Victor 
Amadeus not only denied his mother every vestige 
of influence, but regarded her with a hatred which 
he was at Httle pains to conceal, and those who 
had the courage to brave their sovereign's dis- 
pleasure by paying court to Madame Royale were 
comparatively few. The weekly visits which the 
old princess received from her grand-daughters at 
the Palazzo Madama — that huge, ungainly mediaeval 
pile in the midst of the Piazza Castello, now occupied 
by the State Archives and other institutions — which 
during her later years she seldom quitted, were 
therefore the more welcome, and she exerted herself 
to interest and amuse the children and to encour- 
age them to make her their friend and confidante. 
In this she was eminently successful, particularly 
with Adelaide, in whose affections her " chere gran 
maman " always retained the foremost place. 

But we must now turn to the consideration of 
certain political events which were to have a very 
important bearing on Adelaide's future career. 


Victor Amadeus ii and Louis xiv — Incessant interference of 
the latter in the affairs of Savoy and the domestic life of the Duke 
— Victor Amadeus compelled by him to engage in a cruel per- 
secution of his own Protestant subjects, the Vaudois — The League 
of Augsburg — Double game of Victor Amadeus — Rupture between 
Savoy and France — The allies are defeated at StafEarda — Savoy and 
Piedmont are over-run by the French, and Turin threatened — 
Invasion of Dauphine by the AUies fails, owing to the serious iUness 
of Victor Amadeus — Siege of Pinerolo and Battle of Marsaglia — 
Louis XIV anxious to detach Savoy from the League — The Comte 
de Tesse — Secret negotiations with the Court of Turin — Pro- 
positions of Victor Amadeus — He proposes a marriage between 
the Princess Adelaide and the Due de Bourgogne — Secret visit of 
Tesse to Turin — Victor Amadeus sends an envoy to Vienna to 
propose an alUance between the Princess Adelaide and the King 
of the Romans — Refusal of the Emperor — The Duke resumes 
his negotiations with France— Treaty signed between France and 
Savoy — Its terms — Joy of Victor Amadeus 

IF Louis XIV, in giving his niece to Victor 
Amadeus, flattered himself that he had 
secured a nephew whom it would be easy to 
bend to his imperious will, he had fallen into a very 
grievous error. Nevertheless, it must be admitted 
that for some years the conduct of the Duke was 
such as to encourage this pleasing illusion, since, 
though he frequently endeavoured to evade the 
execution of the orders he received from Versailles, 
he generally ended by obeying them. But the 
yoke of France was very heavy ; nominally an 


independent sovereign, the Duke of Savoy found 
himself treated exactly as though he had been a 
vassal of the French Crown. Louis xiv interfered 
incessantly, not only in every act of his government, 
but in those of his private life. He remonstrated 
with him on his treatment of his wife, thereby, as 
we have seen, making the lot of that unfortunate 
princess still more difficult to bear ; intimated that 
he lived too much in retirement, and that it behoved 
him to maintain a gay and brilliant Court ; 
espoused with the utmost warmth Madame Royale's 
side in her frequent quarrels with her son ; and 
ordered the Duke to forbid the marriage of his 
uncle, Prince Philibert di Carignano, heir-pre- 
sumptive to the throne, with Catherine d'Este, 
daughter of the Duke of Modena, and when Phili- 
bert, ignoring his nephew's wishes, contracted a 
secret marriage, compelled Victor Amadeus to 
banish him and his wife from Savoy. 

When, after the rupture with France, of which 
we are about to speak, peace was concluded and 
diplomatic relations between the two Courts were 
about to be resumed, it was indeed with good 
reason that Victor Amadeus said to the French 
envoy at Turin : " Implore the King to give me 
an Ambassador who will leave us in peace with our 
sheep, our wives, our mothers, our mistresses, and 
our servants. The charcoal-burner ought to be 
the master in his own hut, and from the day when 
I had the use of my reason until that on which I had 
the misfortune to engage in this unhappy war, 
scarcely a week has passed in which there has not 
been demanded of me, either in regard to my own 
conduct or that of my family, ten things, or, when 


I have accorded only nine, that I have not been 
threatened." ^ 

But a humihation far more intolerable than 
any interference in his private or family affairs 
was imposed on Victor Amadeus when, in the 
spring of 1686, the Most Christian King, carried 
away by his zeal for the extermination of heresy, 
forced him to undertake, in conjunction with 
French troops under Catinat, a cruel and bloody 
persecution of his own Protestant subjects, the 
Vaudois, and to lay waste their peaceful valleys 
with fire and sword. Wounded at once in his 
pride as a sovereign and in his natural sentiments 
of kindness for his people, the Duke returned from 
this expedition bitterly incensed against France, 
and impatient for an opportunity of casting off 
the fetters which weighed so heavily upon him. 

In July of that year, the celebrated League of 
Augsburg was formed against the monarch whose 
ambition and imperious manners had alarmed and 
offended all the princes and peoples of Europe, 
Catholic and Protestant alike, and was joined by Eng- 
land, the Emperor, the Kings of Spain and Sweden, 
the Dutch Republic, the Palatine and Saxon Electors, 
and the Circles of Bavaria, Franconia, and the Upper 
Rhine. Victor Amadeus at once began coquetting 
with the Allies, but, finding the guarantees which 
they offered him insufficient, declined to commit 
himself, and accordingly, while making his pre- 
parations for war, in anticipation of the moment 
when military exigencies should wring from them 
more satisfactory terms, continued to profess an 
unalterable devotion to the interests of France. 

' Rousset, Hisloire de Louvois, 


This double game proceeded until the late 
spring of 1690, when, French agents having inter- 
cepted some very compromising correspondence 
between William of Orange and Victor Amadeus, 
Louis XIV directed Catinat to call upon the Duke to 
deliver up to his uncle, as a pledge of his fidelity, 
not only the fortress of Verrua, on the confines of 
Piedmont and Savoy, but the citadel of Turin as 
well, — that is to say, nothing less than his own 
capital. Victor Amadeus, finding himself with his 
back to the wall, hesitated no longer, but despatched 
an envoy to Milan to announce his adhesion to 
the League, and to demand assistance from the 
Spaniards; for Catinat with 18,000 French troops 
was now at the gates of Turin, and it was only by 
haggling with him over the conditions on which 
the citadel was to be delivered up that he could 
prevent him from commencing hostilities. 

The Allies received the news of the Duke of 
Savoy's belated decision with joy, and a Spanish 
army at once advanced to the relief of Turin. 
On its approach, Victor Amadeus flung aside the 
mask; informed the Comte de Rebenac, who had 
succeeded d'Arcy as French Ambassador, that the 
extremity to which his master had reduced him 
left him no alternative but to accept the assistance 
which Spain had several times. offered him ; signed 
with his own hand a treaty of aUiance, offensive 
and defensive, with the Emperor Leopold (June 
14, 1674) ; and convened a great meeting of the 
nobility at the Palazzo Reale, and addressed to 
them what Rebenac styles " a very eloquent and 
very bellicose harangue," in which he announced 
his intention of " entering the universal cause and 


going to seek the French army at the head of his 
faithful people." 

The nobles, no less eager than their sovereign 
to avenge the long series of humiliations which 
France had inflicted on their country, welcomed 
this announcement with frenzied applause ; the 
enthusiasm for war rapidly spread to the Army, 
the people, and even to the clergy, who voluntarily 
offered the valuables which their churches con- 
tained to the war fund ; and the remnant of the 
persecuted Vaudois, seeing in the outbreak of 
hostilities an end of the cruel persecution to 
which they had been subjected, sent a deputation 
to the Duke to offer their services, and on being 
assured by him that their religion should henceforth 
be respected, and that " so long as he had a morsel 
of bread in his mouth, he would share it with 
them," furnished a contingent, which served through- 
out the war and fought with the utmost heroism 
and ferocity. In short, within a few days of 
Victor Amadeus entering the Coalition, the whole 
of Savoy and Piedmont, noble and peasant. Catholic 
and Protestant alike, had risen in arms. 

The odds against the little State were, however, 
very heavy, opposed as it was to the finest troops 
of the Continent and to one of Louis xiv's most 
experienced generals. Austria sent to the assist- 
ance of Victor Amadeus his cousin Eugene of 
Savoy, the "little abbe" whose sword le Grand 
Monarque had once so contemptuously rejected, 
and who was ere long to become a veritable thorn 
in the side of France. But the two young princes 
conducted their operations with more courage 
than discretion, and in August they were completely 


defeated by Catinat at Staffarda, and Savoy and 
Nice and the greater part of Piedmont fell into 
the hands of the French, who ravaged and burned 
in the most ruthless fashion, since Louvois had 
given orders " to treat the country like the Palati- 
nate, and make fire and sword do their work there." 
Catinat even pushed his advance - posts almost 
within sight of the walls of Turin, and threw the 
capital into a state of the utmost consternation. 
Victor Amadeus gave orders for the Duchess and 
her children to retire to Vercelli ; but the French 
general decided that the forces under his command 
were insufficient to invest so large a town, and, 
having burned the ducal chateau of Rivoli,^ retired 
to Coni, to which he proceeded to lay siege. The 
garrison, however, aided by the inhabitants, offered 
a desperate resistance, and gave Eugene time to 
bring up an army to their succour and compel 
Catinat to raise the siege. 

Encouraged by this success, and by the arrival 
of reinforcements under Maximilian of Bavaria, 
the Allies decided to assume the aggressive ; and 
Catinat found himself so hard pressed that he 
was forced to evacuate Piedmont and fall back 
into Savoy, though the surrender of the fortress of 
Montmelian, which the French had been besieging 
for several months, afforded him some consolation 
for this retrograde movement. 

At the opening of the following campaign, Victor 
Amadeus proposed the investment of Pinerolo, the 
key of Piedmont, which had been in the hands of 

' On learning of this catastrophe, Victor Amadeus observed that 
he would cheerfully submit to the destruction of his own palaces 
if the enemy would spare the houses of his people. 



France ever since the Treaty of Cherasco, and which 
he had always been intensely anxious to recover. 
But the Imperialists had other views, and desired 
to carry the war on to French soil, by the invasion 
of Dauphine. Their counsels ultimately prevailed, 
and in August the Allies crossed the frontier in 
two divisions, the Duke marching on Embrun, 
while the Germans invested Gap. Both places fell, 
and the most deplorable excesses were committed 
by the invaders, eager to avenge the ravaging of 
the Palatinate and Piedmont. 

Here, however, their successes terminated; for, 
at Embrun, Victor Amadeus was seized with the 
dangerous illness of which we have spoken else- 
where, and this so discouraged the AUies that, 
though Grenoble lay to all appearances at their 
mercy, they decided not to prosecute the campaign, 
and fell back into Savoy. 

The following July found the Duke, though 
still weak from sickness, once more at the head of 
his troops. Pinerolo was now invested, and the 
Fort of Santa-Brigida, one of its outlying defences, 
carried by assault. But on Pinerolo itself the 
Allies could make no impression ; and on October 4, 
Catinat suddenly swooped down from the moun- 
tains, fell upon the investing army at Marsaglia, 
and utterly routed it. 

Notwithstanding the successes of Catinat, Louis 
XIV had been for some time past anxious to detach 
Victor Amadeus from the League, in order to 
strengthen his armies on the Rhine and in the 
Netherlands; and Croissy, who on the death of 
Louvois — whose aggressive counsels in regard to 
Savoy had been the principal cause of the rupture 


with that country— had resumed the entire direction 
of foreign affairs, was of the same mind. Accord- 
ingly, at the end of December 1691, the Marquis 
de Chamlay was sent to Pinerolo, with instructions 
to intimate to the Court of Turin his Majesty's 
desire to come to terms. His advances, however, 
were by no means favourably received, the super- 
cilious tone which he adopted towards Victor 
Amadeus having, it would appear, greatly irritated 
the Duke, and at the end of two months he returned 
to France, leaving matters much as they were 

Recognising that so delicate a mission called 
for the services of a more skilful and supple diplo- 
matist, Louis XIV chose, to succeed Chamlay, Rene 
de FrouUay, Comte de Tesse, a person little estim- 
able as a man, if we are to believe Saint-Simon, 
but " of distinguished appearance, shrewd, adroit, 
courteous, polished, and obliging," a noted raconteur, 
and one of the most charming letter - writers of 
his time. Saint-Simon, with his usual indifference 
to the truth where persons whom he dislikes are 
concerned, states that " he pushed his good-fortune 
to such remarkable lengths as to become a Marshal 
of France without having heard a musket fired." ^ 
But, so far from being a carpet-knight, Tesse saw 
service in Flanders, Italy, and Spain, and at the 
siege of Veillane, in 1691, was wounded "par un 
tclat de grenade gros comme un petit ceuf de poule." ^ 
However, though he appears to have been a brave 
and capable officer, his true mStier was not war 

^ MSmoires. 

' Letter of Tesse to Louvois, June 7, 1691, Rouaset, Histoire de 


but diplomacy, in which he rendered his country 
services which history has perhaps too Uttle 

A few weeks before Chamlay was sent to 
Pinerolo, Tesse had estabhshed himself there as 
" commandant for the service of the King of the 
fortresses and frontiers of Piedmont," and after 
the marquis's return to France, he lost no time 
in picking up the thread of the negotiations. War 
in the seventeenth century was a singular com- 
pound of cruelty and courtesy. If conquered 
territory were mercilessly ravaged, towns and 
villages burned to the ground, and neither age 
nor sex respected, this did not prevent the generals 
on either side from sending each other presents of 
wine and fruit, facilitating the passage of letters 
relating to private affairs, and, in short, showing to 
one another every consideration which one gentle- 
man might expect from another ; and Tesse was 
careful to allow no opportunity to pass of rendering 
himself agreeable to the Duke of Savoy and his 
Ministers. Thus, we find him felicitating Victor 
Amadeus on the improvement in his health after 
his dangerous illness at Embrun, and assuring him 
that his master would be only too willing to place 
the services of the best French physicians at his 
disposal ; offering the Marquis de Saint-Thomas, 
when he also fell ill, passports for any watering- 
place in France which his medical advisers might 
recommend, adding that, if it were inconvenient 
for the Minister to leave his post just then, he would 
give orders for whatever waters he desired to be 
bottled and despatched to Turin, and giving per- 
mission for the passage of certain relics which the 





Duchess of Savoy was anxious to send to the 
Convent of the Val-de Grice.^ 

The excellent relations which the astute French- 
man soon succeeded in estabhshing with the Court 
of Savoy did not a little to facilitate the negotia- 
tions, which were carried on through the medium 
of one Groppel, auditor of the War Office at Turin, 
who went to and fro between Pinerolo and the 
capital disguised as a peasant, since it was of the 
utmost importance that no inkling of what was 
in progress should reach the Duke's allies, and 
the slightest indiscretion might have ruined 
everything. Victor Amadeus had suffered far too 
severely at the hands of his redoubtable foe not 
to desire an accommodation, if such could be 
arranged on his own terms. But the price he 
demanded for his defection was a very high one, 
since he was well aware, as was Louis xiv, that 
though, from a military and financial point of view. 
Savoy was one of the weakest members of the 
League, her geographical position rendered her 
co-operation absolutely essential to the success- 
ful carrying on of the war. The evacuation of 
his dominions by the French, the restoration 
of all conquests, an ample indemnity for the ex- 
pense to which he had been put, and, lastly, the 
cession — or rather the restoration — of Pinerolo, 
the fortress to the possession of which Richelieu 
had attached such enormous importance, 
these were the conditions on which this prince, 
who had seen his territory over-run, his palaces 
burned, and the enemy encamped almost at the 

1 Comte d'Haussonville, la Duchesse de Bourgogne ei F Alliance 
savoyarde sous Louis xiv. 


gates of his capital, was prepared to treat with his 
victorious foe. If they were acceded to, he would 
engage to abandon the League, and use his good 
offices with the Emperor and the King of Spain to 
bring about a general peace ; while, in the event 
of his mediation being unsuccessful, he would be 
prepared to range himself openly on the side of 

Nevertheless, exorbitant as the Duke's pro- 
positions may appear, Louis xiv, after some little 
hesitation, decided to accept them; for, in his 
opinion, no sacrifice was too great, if only thereby 
the compactness of the League could be shaken. 
But, since his nephew's conduct during recent 
years had inspired him with the most profound 
distrust, he insisted on receiving guarantees against 
any breach of faith on his part, and suggested 
that certain towns and fortresses in Savoy and 
Piedmont should remain in the possession of 
France, or, at any rate, be garrisoned by the troops 
of some neutral State, until the conclusion of the 
general peace. To this Victor Amadeus demurred, 
but expressed his willingness to give hostages in- 
stead, and proposed that his elder daughter, the 
Princess Adelaide, and the eldest son of the Prince 
di Carignano, then heir presumptive to the throne, 
should be sent to France. 

The Duke's offer, however, does not appear to 
have been taken very seriously at Versailles, for 
Victor Amadeus had not shown himself so affection- 
ate a father as to lead Louis xiv and his Ministers 
to believe that the prospect of an indefinite separa- 
tion from one of his daughters would deter him 
from breaking his engagements to them, if he 


were so inclined ; and, as the Prince di Carignano 
refused, on any consideration, to part with his son, 
the negotiations looked like breaking down, when 
the Duke of Savoy made a fresh proposal. This 
was that the Princess Adelaide should be brought 
up at the French Court ; and that when she had 
attained a marriageable age, she should wed Louis, 
Due de Bourgogne, eldest son of the Dauphin.^ 

The documents preserved in the French Archives 
leave us in some doubt as to whether this proposal 
was a spontaneous one on the part of Victor 
Amadeus, or whether he had not received a hint 
from Tesse that such an arrangement would be 
the easiest way out of the difficulty. Any way, 
Louis XIV seems to have regarded it as a sufficient 
proof of the Duke's intention to keep faith with 
him, and by the middle of April 1693 matters 
had so far progressed that the Court of Turin sub- 
mitted to Tesse a rough draft of the projected 
treaty, one of the articles of which stipulated that, 
though the marriage in question should not take 
place until the parties had reached a suitable age, 
the contract should be drawn up forthwith. To 
which proposition Tesse replied : "I shall have 
the honour of treating, in the name of the King and 
of Monseigneur,^ of the marriage of the Due de 
Bourgogne with the Princess of Savoy, the contract 
relating to which shall be signed and concluded at 
the same time as the present treaty, the consumma- 
tion thereof to be postponed to the time when age 
will permit of it." 

' The Due de Bourgogne was now in his eleventh year, having 
been bom on August 6, 1682. 
' The Dauphin. 


However, though in principle the parties were 
now in accord, the time which had been consumed 
in hagghng over the price of Victor Amadeus's 
defection had brought them to the verge of a new 
campaign, and it was impossible for the Duke to 
conclude the negotiations and abandon his allies 
at that moment, however much he might desire 
to do so. His immediate object, indeed, was to 
conceal from the Imperialists the game he was 
playing ; and it was no doubt this motive which 
led him to assist at the siege of Pinerolo, notwith- 
standing that he was still so weak from sickness 
as scarcely to be able to keep his saddle. 

The campaign ended in the sanguinary defeat 
of the Allies at Marsaglia, and it is certainly a 
striking proof of the strength of Victor Amadeus's 
position that, a month after this disaster, he should 
have resumed the negotiations with France without 
abating one jot of his demands, and that Louis 
XIV, despite this fresh victory, should have shown 
himself no less anxious to come to terms. 

The Duke now suggested that progress might 
be facilitated if Tesse were to pay a personal visit 
to Turin ; and thither the Governor of Pinerolo 
accordingly repaired, disguised in a suit of the 
prince's livery, which had been sent him, and an 
immense black wig, and was introduced, in the 
dead of night, by a back staircase, into the Palazzo 
Reale. Here he remained for four days in the 
utmost secrecy, and had several long conferences 
with Victor Amadeus and the Marquis de Saint- 
Thomas. The former repeatedly protested his 
desire to make his peace with the King of France ; 
but he clung tenaciously to the conditions on which 


he had already expressed himself wiUing to abandon 
the League, though, after the recent disastrous 
campaign, it was obvious that, if he were to continue 
the war, he must be prepared to act entirely on the 
defensive. He particularly insisted that if his 
daughter went to France, it should be as the 
affianced wife of the Due de Bourgogne, and one 
day, when in the company of Tesse, he sent for the 
little princesses and talked to them for some time, 
in order that the Frenchman might have an oppor- 
tunity of forming an opinion of Adelaide. Finally, 
Tesse yielded on every point, and promised to set 
out at once for Versailles to obtain Louis xiv's 
assent to the Duke's demands ; and Victor Amadeus, 
putting his hand in his, " swore by his faith and 
his word as a man of honour and a prince, that if 
he played false in this matter, he would be willing 
to pass for a knave and a dog." ^ 

However, the affair was still very far from 
concluded, for the Duke of Savoy was a prince as 
deficient in scruple as he was fertile in resource ; 
and he believed that, since Louis xiv were willing 
to pay a high price to detach him from the League, 
the Emperor Leopold might be disposed to bid 
even higher to retain him in it. He had promised 
Tess6 that, so soon as he received a favourable 
answer from Versailles, he would send the Abbate 
Grimani, an astute Venetian in the service of 
Savoy, to inform the Emperor of his intention to 
withdraw from the Coalition, and to urge him to 
make peace. But, though, when the Duke was 
informed of Louis xiv's assent to his proposals, he 

^ Archives des Affaires ilfctrangeres, Correspondance Turin. 
Unsigned note of December 10, 1696, cited by Comte d'Haussonville. 


lost no time in despatching Grimani to Austria, 

the mission with which the latter was entrusted 
was of quite a different nature. His instructions 
were to demand from the Emperor reinforcements 
sufficient to secure the total expulsion of the 
French from Italy, and to propose the betrothal 
of the Princess Adelaide to Leopold's eldest son, 
the King of the Romans, then thirteen years of age, 
the marriage to take place when the former had 
completed her fourteenth year, until which time 
she was to be brought up at Innsbruck, under the 
eye of the Empress. He was further instructed 
to inform his Imperial Majesty that, if his pro- 
posals were rejected, the Duke of Savoy would 
undoubtedly be compelled, in sheer self-preserva- 
tion, to accept the very advantageous offers he 
had already received from Versailles, to enter 
into an alliance with France, and give the Princess 
Adelaide in marriage to the Due de Bourgogne. 

These propositions, which, it will be observed, 
were, with the change of names, almost identical 
with those which Tesse had carried to Louis xiv, 
proved anything but acceptable to the Emperor. 
Leopold had too much on his hands in Ger- 
many to think of sending reinforcements into 
Italy, and he naturally considered that the heir 
of the Holy Roman Empire ought to look far 
higher than the daughter of a prince of the second 
rank. However, he did not venture on a direct 
refusal, but begged for delay, in order to enable 
him to consult the Empress and his Ministers ; and, 
to the intense disgust of Grimani, the matter 
dragged on until the spring of 1695, Leopold 
raising all kinds of objections to the proposed 


marriage, the most curious of which was perhaps 
his fear that, if his son were obhged to wait until 
the mature age of nineteen before taking unto 
himself a wife, he might be tempted into vicious 

In the meanwhile^ the Emperor, determined 
not to yield to the demands of the Duke of Savoy, 
but anxious to prevent that prince from throwing 
himself into the arms of France, found means to 
enlighten Louis xiv as to the real object of Grimani's 
mission to Vienna, in the belief that the discovery 
of the double game which Victor Amadeus was 
playing would so incense the King that he would 
immediately break off his negotiations with Savoy. 
This not very creditable proceeding, however, 
served only to hasten the defection which Leopold 
sought to prevent. Louis xiv and his Ministers 
had by this time gauged the character of Victor 
Amadeus too accurately for his duplicity to cause 
them either surprise or indignation, and contented 
themselves by calling upon him for an explana- 
tion. The Duke, through Saint-Thomas, of course 
indignantly denied the conduct attributed to him, 
protesting that the prolonged stay of Grimani in 
Vienna was due to the difficulty of persuading the 
Emperor to listen to his master's pacific counsels. 
But, recognising the danger of hesitating any 
longer between France and Austria, he immediately 
despatched a courier to Vienna to obtain a definite 
reply concerning the marriage of his daughter with 
the King of the Romans. 

The courier returned with an autograph letter 
from the Emperor, in which, while expressing his 
pleasure at the Duke's desire to give the Princess 


Adelaide in marriage to his son, he regretted that, 
owing to the youth of the parties, it was impossible 
for him to arrive at present at a definite decision. 
He concluded by thanking Victor Amadeus for 
the " ardent zeal " he had shown in their common 
cause, — a touch of irony which perhaps did not 
make this disguised refusal any the more palatable 
to its recipient. 

Seeing that he had nothing to hope for from 
the side of Austria, Victor Amadeus hastened to 
resume his negotiations with France, whom he 
found still as willing as ever to come to terms, 
though the discovery of his double - dealing had 
shown Louis xiv the importance of obtaining 
from him some more substantial guarantees for 
the execution of his engagements than the person 
of the Princess Adelaide ; and this caused the 
pourparlers to be prolonged for many months. 
However, soon after the resumption of hostilities 
in the spring of 1695, France agreed to the Duke's 
proposal that Casale, which he was preparing to 
invest at the head of a .composite force of Imperial- 
ists, Spaniards, and Piedmontese, should be sur- 
rendered to him, after a sham siege, on condition 
that it should be subsequently handed over to the 
Duke of Mantua, its former owner, from whom 
Louis XIV had purchased it. Thus, one of the 
great objects of Victor Amadeus' s policy was 
already achieved, and the fortress which had shut 
in Turin on its eastern side, and cut Piedmont off 
from communication with Central Italy, passed 
into friendly hands. 

Slowly but surely the negotiations drew to 
a conclusion. On the night of June 4-5, 1696, 


Tesse paid a second secret visit to Turin, " dis- 
guised as a servant of the Adjutant-General of 
Savoy," and wearing " a very dark wig belonging 
to Monsieur le Marechal de Catinat " ; ^ and, after 
more than three weeks of incessant haggling, a 
treaty was signed by him and Saint -Thomas 
(June 24, 1696). 

This treaty stipulated that Pinerolo should be 
given up to Savoy, on condition that its fortifica- 
tions were dismantled ; that France was to restore 
forthwith all conquests, with the exception of 
Montmelian and Susa, which were to remain in 
her possession until the conclusion of the general 
peace ; and that the Princess Ad61aide should be 
formally betrothed to the Due de Bourgogne and 
sent to the French Court, where, so soon as she 
had attained her thirteenth year, the marriage was 
to be celebrated, Louis xiv engaging to provide the 
dowry. Finally, Victor Amadeus obtained a dis- 
tinction which his House had long coveted, namely, 
that his Ambassadors should be treated hence- 
forth in France like those of crowned heads, and 
the title of Royal Highness conferred on himself 
in all public acts. 

In return for these concessions, the Duke 
engaged to use his influence to obtain from his old 
allies their recognition of the neutrality of Italy; 
and, should they refuse, to unite his forces with 
those of the King of France. In this eventuality, 
he was to be given the command of the Franco- 
Piedmontese troops, and receive, in virtue of this 

* A treaty had already been signed by Tesse and Groppel, at 
Pinerolo, on the 30th of the preceding month ; but Victor Amadeus 
subsequently refused to ratify it, on the ground that he could not 
accept the conditions on which Pinerolo was to be restored to him. 


appointment, the sum of 100,000 crowns a month 
so long as the war lasted. 

Thus, after six years of warfare, in which he 
had suffered an almost unbroken series of reverses, 
Victor Amadeus, thanks to his own adroitness and 
the exhausted condition to which her sovereign's 
pride and ambition had reduced France, had the 
satisfaction of realising the double end which from 
his boyhood he had always kept steadily in view : 
the restoration of Casale to Mantua and that of 
Pinerolo to Savoy ; had rescued his country from 
the servitude in which she had been held since 
the Treaty of Cherasco ; had re-established with 
her western neighbour, if only for a brief period, 
those cordial relations which were so greatly to 
the interests of both States to maintain ; and had 
betrothed his daughter to a prince who would in 
all probability live to ascend the greatest throne 
in Christendom. 

Reserved and secretive though he naturally was, 
the Duke had great difficulty in dissimulating the 
exultation which this extraordinary transforma- 
tion in his fortunes occasioned him ; and Tesse 
wrote to Louis xiv, that in the privacy of his own 
apartments, when he believed himself unobserved 
save by his confidential attendants, he might be 
seen " striking attitudes before his mirror, feUcita- 
ting himself on the great affair which he had brought 
to a conclusion, and capering like a man whom 
joy inspired with involuntary movements." 

Yet, in the light of future events, who shall 
say that the delight which manifested itself in so 
ludicrous a manner was not abundantly justified ? 
For the treaty signed that summer's day at Turin 


had secured to the House of Savoy infinitely more 
than what we have mentioned above — infinitely 
more than the Duke could have foreseen, even in 
his most ambitious dreams. It had laid the 
foundation on which, more than a century and 
a half later, the descendants of Victor Amadeus 
were to rear the fabric of an independent and 
united Italy. 


Tesse's mission to Turin — Joy of the Duchess of Savoy at the 
conclusion of peace with France and the approaching marriage 
of her daughter to the Due de Bourgogne — Sentiments of the 
Princess Adelaide — An amusing comedy— Reports of Tesse con- 
cerning the princess — Portraits of her sent to Versailles — Mission 
of Mansfeld to Turin — Victor Amadeus, in conjunction vnth the 
French, invades the Milanese — Suspension of hostihties in Italy — 
Indignation of the Allies at the defection of the Duke of Savoy 
— Marriage - contract of the Princess Adelaide and the Due de 
Bourgogne — Trousseau of the princess — The signing of the con- 
tract — Formation of the princess's household — -Great and acri- 
monious competition for the post of dame d'honneur — The Duchesse 
du Lude nominated — Other nominations — The question of the 
waiting-women— Victor Amadeus dechnes to permit the Duchess 
of Savoy to accompany her daughter to France — Selection of the 

ON July 12, i6g6, an armistice for two months 
was signed between France and Savoy, and 
Victor Amadeus suggested that Tesse should 
be again sent to Turin, nominally as a hostage, 
but really to complete the arrangements for the 
marriage of the Princess Adelaide and the Due de 
Bourgogne. The French Government assented, 
though Tesse does not appear to have relished 
altogether the idea of putting himself in the power 
of the Duke of Savoy, and wrote pathetically to 
Croissy, begging him " not to leave him too long 
in the ambiguous position of a hostage," as he 
recalled an instance in which, through some un- 
fortunate misunderstanding, which was not recti- 



fied until too late, one of these gentlemen had 
been hanged; adding that nothing but his regard 
for the service of the King would have induced him 
to accept such a post. 

However, as he was a very magnificent person- 
age indeed, these apprehensions did not prevent 
him from making a most imposing entry into 
Turin, where he arrived on the day after the signing 
of the armistice, accompanied by the Marquis de 
Bouzols, a son-in-law of the Minister for Foreign 
Affairs, who was also to remain as a hostage until 
the end of the truce, and a suite which required 
thirty mules to transport their baggage. He 
speedily discovered that there was to be very 
little ambiguity about his mission in the eyes of 
the citizens ; for, though the treaty which had been 
signed a fortnight before had been kept a profound 
secret, the impression that the armistice was but 
the harbinger of peace was general, and the arrival 
of the commandant of Pinerolo was regarded as 
placing the matter beyond all doubt. As the 
Turinese were by this time heartily weary of the 
war, their delight at the prospect of its speedy 
termination knew no bounds; and scarcely had 
Tesse passed the gates, when he found himself 
surrounded by an enormous crowd, which greeted 
him with frenzied acclamations, amid which cries 
of " Vive le Roif" might have been heard. 

The cortege made its way through the surging 
throng to the Palazzo Reale, at one of the windows 
of which stood the Duchess of Savoy, with the 
Princess Adelaide behind her. The conclusion 
of the peace between France and Savoy, and the 
stipulation of the marriage by which the agree- 


ment had been sealed, was a great joy to Anne 
d' Orleans. During six years her heart had been 
torn between her natural affection for the country 
of her birth and her loyalty to the land of her 
adoption, while her fears for her husband's safety 
had made her life one perpetual martyrdom. 
I)Iow, at last, she was to know peace of mind once 
more, and moreover the dearest wish of her heart, 
next to that of occupying the first place in her 
husband's affections, was about to be realised. 
For Anne, in the words of Tesse, had " remained 
as much a Frenchwoman as though she had never 
crossed the Alps," and^ almost from the day when 
she found herself a mother, it had been the dream of 
her life to see her eldest daughter wedded to the 
Due de Bourgogne, and one day sharing with him 
the throne of France. " I could not render an 
adequate account to your Majesty of the lively 
and indescribable joy of the Duchess of Savoy," 
writes Tesse to Louis xiv. " She is quite unable 
to repress it, and, although she has been warned to 
be on her guard, so as not to allow the leaders of 
the Allies to become aware of the inclinations of 
her heart, this princess cannot contain herself, 
and seizes every occasion to converse with me, 
and to speak of your Majesty, of her happiness, 
and of her past troubles and mortifications." ^ 
And, good courtier that he was, he added, in a sub- 
sequent despatch : " Assuredly, she has a heart 
worthy of the honour of being your Majesty's 

That the Duchess had early communicated her 

^ Despatch of July 20, 1696, published by the Comtesse de 
Faverges, Anne d^Orlians. 


ambitious hopes to her little daughter, and had 
brought her up in the belief that she was reserved 
for this exalted destiny, there can be no doubt, 
since, so far back as the spring of 1688, we find the 
industrious Sourches recording in his Memoires 
that the Dauphine had been very distressed on 
learning of the serious illness of the Duke of Savoy's 
eldest daughter/ " not only on account of the 
near relationship, but also because this princess, 
child though she was, had already declared that 
she could not be happy unless she married the 
Due de Bourgogne." ^ 

Nor can we wonder that so brilliant a prospect 
should have made an irresistible appeal to Ade- 
laide's precocious imagination, when we reflect 
that she must have been continually hearing from 
her mother, her grandmother, and her gouvernante, 
Madame des Noyers, of the splendour and magni- 
ficence of that Court, the like of which Europe had 
never seen before and will certainly never see 
again ; of the brilliant throng of fair women and 
brave men, radiant in many-hued silks and satins 
and velvets, and glittering with jewels, who basked 
in the rays of the Sun King ; of the round of 
splendid balls, fgtes, and masquerades in which 
these favoured beings passed their days ; * of 
the adoration with which that mighty monarch 
before whose frown the nations trembled, and 
every member of his family, were regarded. 

1 Probably the illness in which the Duchess of Savoy fulfilled 
the duties of nurse. See p. 40, supra. 

^ Marquis de Sourches, Memoires, April 20, 1688. 

' The three ladies in question had, of course, left the Court of 
France before the Maintenon regime began. It was a much less 
entertaining place now. 


On entering the palace, Tesse was required to 
play his part in an amusing little comedy. Although 
he had already paid two visits to Turin, one of 
which had lasted more than three weeks, he had 
on each occasion preserved the strictest incognito, 
and appears never to have quitted the apartments 
allotted him, save under cover of night and with 
the most elaborate precautions. As it was still 
of the utmost importance to keep the treaty 
between France and Savoy from the knowledge 
of the Allies until the moment for proclaiming 
it had arrived, he was now, of course, officially 
understood to be visiting Turin for the first time ; 
and his diplomatic gravity seems to have been 
severely tested when, after Victor Amadeus had 
expressed the pleasure it gave him to welcome 
to his Court a nobleman whom he had so long 
desired to meet, the Marquis de Saint-Thomas, 
with whom Tesse had formerly been closeted for 
hours in earnest conclave, approached and, with 
a perfectly grave face, begged the Master of the 
Ceremonies to present him to the distinguished 
foreigner, " as though he had never cast eyes on 
him in his life." 

The comedy was continued with the Princess 
Adelaide, who, although she immediately identified 
Tesse as the person whom she had previously met 
in her father's cabinet, notwithstanding that he 
had then been carefully disguised, followed the in- 
structions she had received from the Duke to the 
letter, and gave not the slightest sign of recog- 
nition when the diplomatist was presented to her. 

Tesse had been expressly enjoined by Louis xiv 
to take every opportunity of observing his pros- 


pective grand-daughter, and to furnish him with 
the most minute details concerning her. In the 
eyes of the King, the physique of the little princess 
whose children were to carry on his dynasty was 
of infinitely more importance than her character, 
and on this point the envoy was fortunately able 
to assure his master that he need entertain no 
misgivings. " The more I observe this Princess," 
he writes, " the more I am convinced that she 
is healthy and possessed of a sound constitution." 
And he adds : " Whenever I have the honour of 
seeing her, she blushes with becoming modesty, 
as though the sight of me reminded her of the 
Due de Bourgogne." 

A miniature of Adelaide had been given to 
TessCj by Groppel^ during the conferences at Pinerolo 
in the preceding spring, and duly forwarded to 
Versailles, and this was followed by a full-length 
portrait sent by the Duchess of Savoy to her 
father, which the latter, needless to observe, lost no 
time in showing to the Due de Bourgogne. That 
young gentleman was graciously pleased to express 
his approbation of the appearance of his bride- 
elect ; indeed, so gratified was he that, happening 
to meet Barbezieux, the Minister for War, he 
carried him off to his apartments to admire it 
in his turn. 

The next objects of interest relating to the 
princess to reach Versailles were a corsage and a 
ribbon lately worn by her Highness, which Tesse 
had procured^ to give the King a correct idea of 
the young lady's physical proportions. They 
were directed to the Minister for War, and must 
have occasioned that functionary no little mystifica- 


tion, if he happened to open the package containing 
them before the accompanying letter. 

The Court was now fully enlightened as to the 
face and figure of the Princess Adelaide, but it 
was still in doubt as to the exact colour of her 
hair, for Tesse had informed the King that, in his 
opinion, the painter of the portrait which the 
Duchess of Savoy had sent to Monsieur had 
represented her hair " a little less dark than it 
really was." However, he subsequently dis- 
covered that he had done the artist an injustice, 
and writes to Barbezieux, begging him to tell his 
Majesty that, " owing to the excessive quantity of 
essence with which the princess's hair had been 
sprinkled on the first days on which he had seen 
her," he had been deceived as to its colour, which 
was, in reality, " a rather light chestnut, and 
lighter than the Dauphine's ^ had been." 

While Tesse was occupied in studying the 
Princess Adelaide, and in reporting the result of 
his observations to his master at Versailles, the 
Allies had become seriously alarmed at the cessation 
of hostilities between France and Savoy and the 
presence of Tesse at the latter Court; and, at the 
beginning of August, the Imperial Commissioner 
in Italy, the Graf von Mansfeld,^ arrived in Turin, 

' Maria Anna Christina Victoria of Bavaria. 

° Mansfeld came to Turin preceded by a very unsavoury re- 
putation. He had formerly been Austrian Ambassador in Spain, 
and it was during his embassy at Madrid (February 9, 1689) that the 
Duchess of Savoy's elder sister, Marie Louise d'Orleans, consort 
of Carlos 11, had died suddenly, under highly suspicious circum- 
stances. The behef that the Queen died from the effects of poison 
administered by some agent of the Austrian faction at the Court 
was held by many well-informed persons, including Rebenac, the 
French Ambassador at Madrid (see his despatch to Louis xiv 


charged by the Emperor to do everything pos- 
sible to induce Victor Amadeus to reject the 
offers of France and continue his support of the 

Although Mansfeld was unaware that a treaty 
between Franc^ and Savoy had actually been 
signed, he soon perceived that matters had now 
progressed so far that nothing but the highest 
bribe in his master's power to offer could avert 
such a catastrophe ; and he accordingly proposed to 
renew the propositions which Grimani had brought 
to Vienna at the beginning of 1694, and to sub- 
stitute the alliance with the King of the Romans 
for that with the Due de Bourgogne. 

But now it was the turn of Victor Amadeus to 
refuse, and it was not without a touch of irony 
that he replied that " the mother and daughter 
were not disposed to profit by so great an advantage, 
and that, just as his Imperial Majesty had appeared 
to believe, at one time, that an alliance with 
Denmark was more suitable for the Emperor than 
that of Savoy, it was now believed at Turin that 
that of France was the more advantageous." 
And when the Austrian pressed him to reconsider 
his decision, and offered to engage, in his master's 
name, to compel France to restore Pinerolo, curtly 
responded that " the affront which his Imperial 
Majesty had offered the House of Savoy over that 

in the author's "Five Fair Sisters," pp. 386-388), and rumour even 
credited Mansfeld with being privy to the crime. That he was 
in any way connected with it is, however, extremely improbable, 
and the story related by Saint-Simon of Olympe Mancini, Comtesse 
de Soissons having prepared a glass of poisoned milk at the 
Austrian Legation appears to be a mahcious invention of that 


matter was still too recent to be effaced in a 
moment." ^ 

And so Mansfeld took his departure, much 
crestfallen, to the great joy of the Princess Adelaide, 
who had been terribly alarmed lest he should 
succeed in persuading her father to renounce 
the marriage on which she had set her heart. 
" This princess observed yesterday to her mother, 
who spoke to her of the Comte de Mansfeld : 
' Mon Dieu, what has he come here for ? You 
will see that papa will listen to what he says, 
as he has done before. That man has no busi- 
ness here. Why does he not leave you in 
peace ? '" ^ 

The armistice expired on September 15, and 
Victor Amadeus having failed in his efforts to 
induce the Allies to recognise the neutrality of 
Italy, joined his forces to those of Catinat, and, 
at the head of an army of fifty thousand men, 
entered the Milanese and proceeded to lay siege 
to Valenza. This bold stroke brought the war in 
Italy to a speedy conclusion, since Carlos 11 of 
Spain, learning that the town was on the point 
of capitulating, brought so much pressure to bear 
on the Allies, that, in October, a treaty was signed, 
at Vigevano, stipulating for a suspension of arms 
until the proclamation of a general peace. This 
was not long delayed, as the termination of 
hostilities in Italy left France free to throw all 
her strength into the Netherlands and Spain ; and 
by the end of October 1697 the two treaties of 

^ Comte d'Haussonville, la Duchesse de Bourgogne et l' Alliance 
savoyarde sous Louis xiv. 

"Tesse to Louis xiv, August 11, 1696. 


Ryswick had been signed, and peace at length 
reigned over the exhausted Continent. 

The defection of Victor Amadeus excited the 
utmost indignation amongst his former allies. 
In England, his name was never mentioned save 
in terms of derision and contempt; at Milan, the 
bitterest imprecations were heaped upon him by 
the Spaniards, who " spoke of him as a traitor, 
and accused him of black ingratitude towards the 
Allies, whose blood he had shed for the gratification 
of his own interests"; while at the Hague, the 
fury of the people was such that the Piedmontese 
Legation had to be guarded by troops, and the 
Ambassador wrote to the Duke that " a plot had 
been discovered to pillage his house and tear him 
in pieces." ^ " But," writes the Italian historian 
Muratori, " persons skilled in politics were of a 
different opinion. There was general satisfaction 
(among the Italians) at this prince having closed 
to Louis XIV the barriers of Italy by a treaty. All 
the Peninsula soon came to regard Victor Amadeus 
as its benefactor." ^ 

By the middle of September 1696 the marriage- 
contract of the Princess Adelaide and the Due 
de Bourgogne had been drawn up, and Tesse had 
received authorisation from Versailles to sign 
it, in the name of Louis xiv and his grandson. 
Most of the articles had presented Uttle difficulty, 
but that which provided for the princess's re- 
nunciation of her rights to the throne of Savoy 
had greatly exercised the minds of the juris- 
consults of the Crown, since the matter was one 

> The Marchesa Vitelleschi, "The Romance of Savoy." 
2 Muratori, A nnali, MDCXCVI. 


of much more importance than may at first sight 
appear. The Duke had no son and his health 
was far from robust, while the heir-presumptive. 
Prince Philibert di Carignano, was a deaf mute, 
and though, having regard to his affliction, he 
was a man of quite remarkable intelligence, his 
claim to succeed was able to be contested. In 
the event, therefore, of her father's death it might 
very well happen that Adelaide would find only 
one hfe — that of Philibert di Carignano' s little 
son — between her and the throne; and Victor 
Amadeus, mindful of what had occurred almost 
on the morrow of the Treaty of the Pyrenees, when, 
on the pretext of the non-payment of Maria 
Theresa's dowry, Louis xiv had repudiated his 
consort's renunciation of her rights to the Spanish 
throne, was determined to leave no loophole 
which might enable his greedy and unscrupulous 
neighbour to absorb Savoy. 

The stipulations respecting the dowry of the 
princess are not without their humorous side. 
It will be remembered that, in the recently-signed 
treaty between France and Savoy, it was Louis xiv 
who had engaged to dower the young lady. But 
since, on reflection, Victor Amadeus had come 
to the conclusion that it would be contrary to his 
dignity to marry his daughter without a dot, 
Article II stipulated that he should provide her 
with " the sum of two hundred thousand gold 
crowns ^ or their just equivalent," de la manure 
qu'il a He convenu d part} Well, this separate 

• About 600,000 livres tournois. 

^ See Gagni^re, Marie A delaide de Savoie : Lettres et Covrespond- 
ances, pp. 119 et seq., in which the complete text of the marriage- 
contract will be found. 


arrangement was a deed whereby Louis engaged 
to give his future grand-daughter 200,000 crowns, 
and — another proof that Victor Amadeus had 
not forgotten what followed the Treaty of the 
Pyrenees — to guarantee and to hold absolved the 
said lord Duke of Savoy and his heirs from all 
annoyance on the subject of the said dowry." 

Although Victor Amadeus had, by this singular 
expedient, succeeded in shifting the burden of his 
daughter's dowry on to the shoulders of Louis xiv, 
while, at the same time, preserving his dignity, he 
was naturally obliged to defray the cost of her 
trousseau out of his own purse. He seems, how- 
ever, to have been determined to escape as cheaply 
as he could, and the bills for the princess's frills 
and furbelows only reached the comparatively 
moderate total of 53,905 francs. And, sad to 
relate, it was not until more than fifteen years had 
elapsed, and poor Adelaide was in her grave, that 
his Royal Highness — or rather his Majesty, as 
Victor Amadeus had by that time become — could 
make up his mind to discharge them. 

We append the accounts, which have been 
published in M. Gagniere's work, and may not be 
without interest to the reader : — 

Summary of the expense incurred for the trousseau 
of the late Dauphine of France, elder daughter 
of their Majesties of Sicily. 

Bistori and Giovanneti, merchants, for gold and 

silver brocades i3'i6o fr. 15 

Barberis and Roland, linen and lace . . . 24,210 fr. 9 
Andrea Ricaldini, for Venetian point . . . 1,642 fr. 9 
Peretti and Sachetti, silver-smiths, gold and 

silver work for the toilette .... 9,538 fr. 13 


Servan, embroiderer, for embroidery on petticoats 2,750 fr. 

Maurel, shoemaker, for shoes .... 106 fr. 

Marchetti, for ribbons 195 fr. 

Bassurello Compaire, for baskets .... 261 fr. 50 
Ausermetto, joiner, for a box of violet- wood for 

the silver toilette-set 360 fr. 

Varnier, coachmaker. Cost of the sedan-chair, 

and repairs for those of the ladies of her suite 1682 fr. 11 

Total . . 53.905 fr- 19 

M. Gagniere observes that, at 5 per cent, 
interest, the unfortunate tradesmen of the House 
of Savoy must have lost, through the delay in 
settling their accounts, close upon 26,000 francs. 
Assuredly, the privilege of placing the Royal Arms 
over the doors of one's shop was a costly one in 
those days ! 

The signing of the marriage-contract, which 
took place on September 15, 1696, was a most 
impressive ceremony. Between ten and eleven 
o'clock in the morning, the whole Court of Savoy, 
dressed in gala costume, repaired to the apart- 
ments of the Duchess, where they found the 
Royal Family assembled. The Duke " was 
powdered and habited in a handsome costume " ; 
the Duchess, " whose countenance expressed in- 
effable joy," wore " a suitable quantity of dia- 
monds " ; Madame Roy ale was " adorned with 
all the jewels she possessed " ; while the two 
princesses, their aunt the Princess di Carignano, 
and their respective suites, were all in full Court 

When all were assembled, the company pro- 
ceeded to the Chapel Royal to hear Mass. Tesse, 


who had lately been nominated equerry to the 
bride-elect, having the honour of escorting that 
princess, " who," he assures Louis xiv, " acquitted 
herself of her duties with a facility which had 
astonished him." Mass over, the Royal Family, 
accompanied by the Nuncio, the Archbishop of 
Turin, Tesse, the Chancellor of Savoy, the 
Ministers^ the Marchese di Dronero, Grand Marshal 
of the Palace,^ and the princesses' ladies - of - 
honour, returned to the Duchess's apartments, 
where the Marquis de Saint-Thomas read to them 
the marriage - contract. Then a copy of the 
Gospels was brought in, and after Adelaide and 
Tesse, on behalf of the Due de Bourgogne, had 
touched it "at every place where the contract of 
marriage is mentioned," the all-important docu- 
ment was signed by every one present,^ the young 
princess appending her signature " with courage, 
modesty, and dignity." 

At the conclusion of the ceremony, the doors 
were thrown open, and all who desired were per- 
mitted to enter and kiss the princess's hand. Soon 
the enthusiasm increased and culminated in 
general and spontaneous salutations ; and the 
diverting spectacle might have been witnessed of 
a hundred women and twice as many men, falling 

'Philibert d'Este. He was descended from a legitimate 
daughter of Charles Emmanuel i, and was styled a " nobleman of 
the Blood." 

2 But not until there had been a heated dispute between the 
Archbishop of Turin and the Marchese di Dronero, as to which had 
the right to sign before the other, the marquis claiming to take 
precedence of the prelate, in virtue of his connection with the 
Royal Family. See RHation du manage de la Pnncesse Marie- 
AdHaide de Savoie avec le Due de Bourgogne, by the Conte di Vernone, 
Master of the Ceremonies at Turin, in Gagnifere. 


on one another's necks and " exchanging all the 
outward manifestations of a veritable satisfaction." i 

The marriage-contract signed, the question of 
the ceremonial to be observed during the Princess 
Adelaide's journey to France and on her arrival 
there, and that of the composition of her House- 
hold, engaged the attention of the two Courts. 

Since there was no longer either a Queen or a 
Dauphine in France, Maria Theresa having died 
in 1683, and Maria Anna of Bavaria in 1690, the 
wife of the Due de Bourgogne would become 
the first lady in the land, though, of course, during 
the King's lifetime, the influence exercised by 
his morganatic consort, Madame de Maintenon, 
was never likely to be challenged. The coming of 
the Princess Adelaide was therefore regarded at 
Versailles as an event of supreme importance, and 
there were few, indeed, who were not already 
busily speculating as to what effect the advent 
of this little girl of eleven was likely to have upon 
their own prospects. 

Louis XIV had decided that the princess's 
Household was to be composed of a lady-of-honour 
[dame d'honneur), a mistress of the robes {dame 
d'atour), six ladies-in-waiting {dames du -palais), 
five waiting - women {femmes de chambre), a 
chevalier d'honneur, a first equerry, an almoner, 
and a confessor ; and the question of who were to 
fill the more important of these posts threw the 
Court into a perfect ferment of excitement. 

The most important office of all was that of dame 
d'honneur, the fortunate holder of which would 
enjoy several highly-prized privileges, among which 

' Tess6 to the King, September i6, 1696. 


may be mentioned those of taking precedence of 
all ladies not of the royal blood or married to 
Princes of the Blood, and of riding with her mis- 
tress in the King's coach. That such a post 
should have at once become an object of ambition 
to every lady whose rank or degree of favour gave 
her the smallest hope of being selected for it is 
easy to understand, and, as none of them seem to 
have been particularly fastidious as to the means 
she employed to exalt her own qualifications 
and disparage those of her competitors — " anony- 
mous letters, delations, and false reports " were 
freely employed, if we are to believe Saint-Simon 
— the contest, if not very edifying, did not 
lack features of interest. The candidates whose 
chances were the most highly esteemed were the 
Duchess de Crequy, who had been dame d'honneur 
to Maria Theresa, the Duchess d'Arpajon who 
had held the same post in the Household of the 
late Dauphine, the Marechale de Rochefort, dame 
d'atour to the Duchess de Chartres ; ^ the Duchesse 
de Ventadour, a daughter of the Marechal de la 
Mothe-Houdancourt, celebrated in the days of the 
Fronde ; and the Duchesse du Lude, a lady who 
had married en -premieres noces poor Henrietta of 
England's devoted admirer, Armand de Gramont, 
Comte de Guiche, and is said to have received the 
news of that nobleman's untimely death with the 
remark : " He was an amiable person. I should 

'Fran9oise Marie de Bourbon, called Mile, de Blois, youngest 
daughter of Louis xiv and Madame de Montespan ; born 1677, 
legitimated 1681 ; married in 1692 to Philippe d'Orleans, Due 
de Chartres, afterwards Regent of France, whose mother, the 
second Madame, was so infuriated on learning of her son's betrothal 
that she boxed his ears before the whole Court, 


have loved him passionately, if he had loved me a 

It was the last-named of these grandes dames 
who bore away the coveted prize, a result which 
Saint-Simon attributes to bribery and corruption 
of the most outrageous kind. If we are to believe 
his story, a certain Madame Barbesi, a waiting- 
woman of the Duchesse du Lude, went to Madame 
de Maintenon's waiting- woman, Nanon, who had 
been in her service " since the time when she was 
the widow Scarron, living on the charity of her 
parish," and enjoyed her entire confidence, and 
engaged her, in consideration of a sum of 20,000 
ecus, to persuade her mistress to use her influence 
with the King in favour of the duchess. When 
Madame de Maintenon is in question, however, it 
is generally advisable to take Saint-Simon's asser- 
tions with a pinch of salt ; and the Duchesse du 
Lude would certainly appear to have stood in no 
need of such questionable methods of bringing her 
claims to the notice of the King. Not only was 
she a very great lady indeed, both by birth and 
marriage, but she was very wealthy, very gracious, 
of a most amiable and kindly disposition, and — what 
Louis XIV and Madame de Maintenon probably 
considered the most important qualification of all — 
though she had been one of the most beautiful 
women of her time, she could boast of a reputation 
which had come quite unscathed through forty 
years of Court life. Any way, her selection for the 
post, as Saint-Simon himself admits, was generally 
applauded ; and the Princesse des Ursins, in a 
letter to one of her friends, expresses the opinion 
that " the King could not, from every point of 


view, have made a better choice than the Duchesse 
du Lude." 

The post of dame d'atour (mistress of the robes) 
to the princess was almost as eagerly " ambitioned" 
by the marchionesses and countesses as that of 
dame d'honneur had been by the duchesses and 
marichales. But here the influence which Madame 
de Maintenon was actively, though discreetly, 
exercising in the formation of the new Household 
revealed itself in no uncertain manner; and the 
Comtesse de Mailly, who possessed the inestimable 
advantage over her rivals of having that lady for 
her aunt, was the successful candidate. 

The same influence made itself felt in the 
selection of the five dames du palais, since one of 
those nominated was the Comtesse de Montgon, 
daughter of Madame d'Heudicourt, one of the 
most intimate friends of Madame de Maintenon' s 
early widowhood. The other four were the 
Marquise de Nogaret {n&e Mile, de Gontaut-Biron) ; 
the Marquise d'O, the wife of a descendant of 
Henri ill's favourite, the Marquise du Chatelet, a 
member of Bellefonds family, who previous to her 
marriage had been maid-of-honour to the late 
Dauphine ; and the Marquise de Dangeau,^ the 
lovely and amiable German wife of the compiler 
of the famous Journal.^ 

1 Sophie von Lowenstein (not Levenstein, as Dangeau himself 
writes the name). Madame de Sevigne, speaking of her at the 
time of her marriage, describes as " la plus helle, la plus jolie, la 
plus jeune, la plus d&licate, la plus nymphe de la cour " ; and 
Saint-Simon declares that she was " beautiful as the day, formed 
like a nymph, with all the graces of the mind and the body." 

"PhiUppe de Courcillon, Marquis de Dangeau (1638-1720), 
soldier, diplomatist, poet, courtier, diarist, and gambler. Although 


That versatile personage was himself appointed 
chevalier d'honneur ; while Tess6, as a reward for 
his diplomatic services in Piedmont, received the 
post of first equerry.i For the of&ce of confessor, 
a certain Pere Emerique was first proposed, ap- 
parently by Cardinal de Noailles, Archbishop of 
Paris ; but this suggestion was rejected by the King 
and Madame de Maintenon, on the ground that 
he was too austere a directeur for a young girl, and 
a Jesuit, Pere Le Comte, formerly a missionary in 
China, was chosen. 

There remained the selection of the femmes de 
chambre, which, singularly enough, occasioned the 
King infinitely more embarrassment than that of 
all the rest of the princess's Household together, 
and involved almost as much correspondence 
between his Majesty and Tesse as the marriage 

The difficulty, however, was not that of decid- 
ing between the rival claimants for the honour of 
brushing her Highness' s hair and supervising her 
complexion, but the demand of the Duke of 
Savoy that certain of the ladies who performed 
these duties for his daughter in Turin should be 

successful in all these varied r61es, he is now best remembered 
by his Journal, which, in spite of the ridicule poured upon it 
by Voltaire, who had a grudge against the author, is a work of 
great value, " the necessary complement, if not the counterpart, 
of the MSmoires of Saint-Simon." Dangeau is the Pamphilus 
of La Bruyfere's CaracUres. 

1 Tess6 wrote asking for the post in a letter which the Comte 
d'Haussonville describes as " a masterpiece of solicitation, worthy 
to be cited in its entirety, in a collection of letters, as a model of 
its kind." It is, however, too long to insert here. He might have 
spared himself the trouble of its composition, since the King had 
already decided to give him the appointment. 


permitted to continue them, for a time at least, 
at Versailles. 

Although there had been for many years past a 
rule at the Court of Louis xiv that foreign prin- 
cesses coming to France to marry princes of the 
Royal House should not be permitted to retain in 
their service any woman of their own nationality — 
a very wise precaution, indeed, in view of the 
troiibles occasioned by the foreign favourites of 
Marie de' Medici and other queens — this regula- 
tion, though rigidly enforced in regard to ladies- 
of-honour and ladies-in-waiting, had been oc- 
casionally relaxed in favour of those occupying 
subordinate posts. Thus, the Bavarian Dauphine 
had been permitted to bring with her from Munich 
a girl named Bezzola, who attained so extraordinary 
a degree of favour with her mistress, that the 
latter was never happy unless in her company, 
and when, on one occasion, Mile. Bezzola fell ill, 
the princess installed herself at her bedside, and 
no persuasion could induce her to leave it until 
her favourite was convalescent. This infatuation 
naturally gave the greatest umbrage to the rest 
of her Household and to all the ladies of the Court, 
and determined the King on no consideration to 
grant a similar concession to the Princess Adelaide, 
lest haply a second Bezzola should appear upon 
the scene. 

Accordingly, so early as July 26, we find Louis 
XVI directing Tesse to inform the Duke of Savoy 
that he considered it essential to the princess's 
future welfare that she should come to France un- 
accompanied by any of the women at present in 
her service. And he added : " He is himself aware 


of the inconveniences which the practice entails, 
and I am persuaded that he will conforna in this 
matter to what you give him to understand is my 

Greatly to his Majesty's annoyance, however, 
Victor Amadeus showed himself very far from 
disposed to conform to his wishes ; indeed, he 
argued the matter as stoutly as he had any clause 
in the recent treaty. It would be positively cruel, 
he declared, to isolate his daughter, " a mere baby of 
eleven years," from every one whom she had been 
used to see about her ; and he demanded that two of 
her waiting-women and one of the Court physicians 
should be permitted to accompany her to France, 
and remain with her for a few months, by which 
time she would have become accustomed to her 
new surroundings, and her Majesty's physidians 
would have begun to understand her constitu- 

To this Louis xiv replied that the separation 
from her Piedmontese attendants would be quite 
as distressing for the princess three or four months 
hence as it would be now, and that it would be 
much better for her to accustom herself from the 
moment of her arrival to the services of those whom 
he had selected. As for the physician, so soon 
as he had acquainted those in the King's service 
with her Highness' s constitutionj his presence would 
be altogether superfluous. 

In the hope of persuading the Duke to with- 
draw his demand, Tesse showed him the King's 
despatch. But Victor Amadeus, instead of yield- 
ing, as he expected, shed tears of emotion, as he 
bemoaned the sad fate which his Majesty desired 




to inflict upon his daughter ; and the display of so 
much sensibihty on the part of a man generally 
so self-contained affected Tesse to such a degree 
that he began to weep also, and wrote to the King 
advising him to grant the concession demanded, 
since " it certainly appeared to him that, in this 
matter, the Duke of Savoy was actuated by no 
other consideration than misplaced tenderness for 
his daughter." ^ 

Louis XIV, however, was of a different opinion. 
He knew too much of the domestic life of Victor 
Amadeus to have much faith in the sincerity of 
that prince's sudden solicitude for his daughter, 
which he shrewdly suspected was nothing but a 
pretext to enable him to establish spies, or, at 
least, correspondents of his own, at the Court of 
France, who would keep him informed of all that 
was passing there. ^ He therefore remained ob- 
durate, and wrote to Tesse that he " persisted in 
his belief that the counsels of the women whom 
it was proposed should accompany the princess 
would be prejudicial to her happiness," and that 
he was absolutely resolved not to permit her to 
retain them in her service ; and he directed him 
to request the Duke of Savoy to give orders that 
they should not go farther than the Pont-de- 
Beauvoisin, where his envoys would receive her. 
" For," he concludes, "if he believes that it will 
be a grief to his daughter to part from them, it is 
more to the purpose to allow her time to console 

'■ Tesse to the King, August 11, 1696. 

^ This suspicion was probably correct, since it subsequently- 
transpired that Victor Amadeus had acted entirely on his own 
initiative, and that the little princess was quite resigned to the 
idea of parting with her Piedmontese attendants. 


herself for it during the journey, than to cause her 
this pain when she reaches me." ^ 

After some further correspondence, however, 
the King finally consented to a doctor and two 
of Adelaide's waiting- women accompanying her to 
France. But he said nothing as to the length 
of time he intended to allow them to remain there, 
and, though Victor Amadeus seems to have been 
under the impression that they were to stay in- 
definitely with his daughter, his Majesty had, in 
point of fact, decided that they should be sent back 
to Turin as soon as the princess reached Fontaine- 
bleau, and had given orders to that effect. 

In the meanwhile, the future Duchesse de 
Bourgogne's Household had been completed by 
the selection of five French waiting-women, of 
whom the chief was Madame Quantin, wife of Jean 
Quantin, maUre d'hdtel to the King. 

The last matter which Louis xiv was required 
to decide was the person who was to receive the 
Princess Adelaide, in his Majesty's name, on her 
arrival at the frontier, and since etiquette de- 
manded that the King's representative should 
be of the same rank as the one charged by the 
Duke of Savoy to escort his daughter thither, it 
was necessary to ascertain the intentions of the 
Court of Turin. The King had directed Tesse to 
inform Victor Amadeus that it would afford both 
him and his brother the greatest pleasure to see 
the Duchess of Savoy again after a separation of 
so many years, and that he sincerely hoped that 
he would permit her to bring the little princess, in 

* The King to Tesse, September 9, 1696, published by the Comte 


which case he and Monsieur would come as far as 
Nevers to receive her.^ But the Duke, either 
because he feared to give umbrage to Madame di 
Verrua, who was at this time still high in favour 
and apt to take offence at any consideration 
which was shown to her rival, or, more probably, 
because he was disinclined to give his long-suffering 
consort an opportunity of explaining personally 
to her father and uncle the state of the royal 
menage at Turin, excused himself from complying 
with his Majesty's wishes, on the plea that the 
Duchess's health was not strong enough to permit 
her to undertake a long journey so late in the year. 
And, though Tesse wrote to the King that the poor 
lady was " dying of desire " to behold her beloved 
France once more, and he and Saint-Thomas used 
every persuasion to induce the Duke to relent, 
he was inexorable.^ 

There remained two other princesses of the 
House of Savoy, namely, Madame Royale and the 
Princess di Carignano, to one of whom, under 
ordinary circumstances, the duty of escorting the 
Princess Adelaide would have been confided. 
But Victor Amadeus detested the former far too 
heartily to grant her any such satisfaction; while 
the marriage of the latter had, it will be remem- 
bered, given great offence to Louis xiv, and her 
selection, it was feared, might be resented by 
that monarch. He was therefore obliged to seek 
his representative among the chief nobility of 
his Court, and nominated the Principessa della 

' Despatch of July 26, 1696. 

2 The Marchesa Vitelleschi states that Louis xiv was opposed 
to the idea of the Duchess of Savoy accompanying her daughter, 
but she cannot be acquainted with the King's letter of July 26. 


Cisterna, first lady-of-honour to the Duchess, with 
whom he associated the Marchese di Dronero, 
Grand Marshal of the Palace, and first chamber- 
lain to the Duke, who, in virtue of his descent from 
a legitimated daughter of Charles Emmanuel i, 
ranked as a semi-royal personage. 

These nominations freed Louis xiv from the 
necessity of sending any member of his family to 
the frontier, but, since the Marchese di Dronero 
was regarded in Savoy as " of the Blood," he 
selected as his representative the Comte de Brionne, 
son of his grand equerry, the Comte d'Armagnac,i 
who, as a scion of the princely House of Lorraine, 
might reasonably consider himself the equal, if not 
the superior in rank, of the marquis. With him 
went Dangeau and the Sieur Desgranges, his 
Majesty's Master of the Ceremonies, to assist him 
with his advice on the questions of etiquette 
which were sure to arise ; and, of course, the 
Duchesse du Lude and the other ladies of the 
princess's Household. 

• The Comtesse d'Armagnac had, in 1684, conducted Anne 
d'Orlfeans to Savoy, and the recollection of this circumstance may 
not have been unconnected with her son's selection. 


Reluctance of Victor Amadous to permit his daughter to set 
out for France — The French escort leaves Versailles — Departure of 
the Princess Adelaide from Turin — Her journey to the frontier — 
Letter of the Conte di Vernone to Victor Amadeus — The princess 
at Chambery — Questions of etiquette — Reception of the princess 
at the Pont-de-Beauvoisin — Arrival at Lyons — Impressions of 
the escort — The princess is received by Louis xiv at Montargis 
— DeUght of the King — His letter to Madame de Maintenon — 
Meeting of the Princess Adelaide and the Due de Bourgogne — 
Arrival at Fontainebleau 

WHETHER from one of those tardy awakenings 
of affection with which the prospect of an 
indefinite separation from their children 
often inspires even the most indifferent of parents, 
or because he desired to keep the Uttle princess 
with him as a kind of hostage for the performance 
of Louis xiv's engagements, Victor Amadeus 
showed himself strangely reluctant to part with 
his daughter, and Tesse experienced the greatest 
difficulty in persuading him to name a day for 
her departure. The Duke even proposed that, 
since the year was so advanced, and the passage 
of the Alps in bad weather might prove a trying, 
not to say, a dangerous one, for so young a traveller, 
that her journey should be postponed until the 
spring, when the risk of her contracting a chill 
would be appreciably lessened ; and, though Tesse 
protested that, so long as the princess was protected 


by " six chemises and a cloak," she might brave 
the elements with impunity, desired him to ascer- 
tain his Majesty's views upon the matter. 

The King at once directed Tesse to intimate 
to the Duke that he could not possibly curb his 
impatience to see his future grand-daughter for 
another six months. Nevertheless, Victor Amadeus 
continued to find pretexts for delay, and it was not 
until Louis xiv caused him to be informed that, 
since he proposed to come as far as Fontainebleau 
to meet the princess, and feared that, if her arrival 
were delayed until the late autumn, the dampness 
of the forest at that season might be prejudicial 
to his health, that he consented to fix her de- 
parture for the first days of October. 

So soon as this decision was known at Ver- 
sailles, Louis XIV, in order apparently to allow 
the Duke no opportunity of changing his mind, 
issued orders for the immediate departure of the 
retinue he had selected to receive the future 
Duchesse de Bourgogne at the Pont-de Beauvoisin ; 
and on September 17 the cortege set out for the 
frontier. It was, as may be supposed, a most im- 
posing one, and comprised five of the splendid 
royal coaches, each drawn by six or eight horses 
ridden by postilions, which were reserved for the 
use of Brionne, Dangeau, the Duchesse du Lude, 
and the other ladies of the princess's Household, 
and a physician, a surgeon, and an apothecary 
chosen from the medical staff of his Majesty ; 
and a number of less sumptuous equipages for 
the use of the minor officers, the servants of the 
great personages, and certain officials of the royal 
kitchen, whom the King had despatched, under 


the guidance of his first maitre d'hdtel, to prepare 
her Highness's meals. The whole company, in- 
cluding the officers and soldiers of the Garde du 
Corps and Swiss Guards who escorted it, numbered 
some six hundred persons. 

The cortege travelled by easy stages to Lyons, 
where it halted to await news of the Princess 
Adelaide's movements, for, as the accommodation 
at the Pont-de-Beauvoisin was of a primitive 
kind, the ladies of the party had no desire to 
arrive there a day earlier than was absolutely 
necessary. At length, on October 12, a courier 
arrived with intelligence that the princess had 
quitted Turin on the 7th, and the following day 
the escort resumed its journey to the frontier. 

The departure of the princess had been preceded 
by splendid fetes and rejoicings at Turin, which 
no doubt greatly diverted the citizens. The young 
lady in whose honour they were organised, how- 
ever, passed a much less pleasant time, since from 
morning till night she appears to have been occupied 
in listening to addresses of congratulation from 
the numerous deputations who came to wait upon 
her, and in holding out her hand to be kissed until 
it was positively sore. Indeed, her grief at leaving 
her native city must have been sensibly mitigated 
by the respite from these wearisome functions 
which it afforded her. 

The streets of Turin were densely crowded as 
the royal cortege passed through them, and the 
acclamations of the citizens testified in no un- 
certain manner to the popularity of Victor Amadeus 
and their affection and sympathy for his daughter. 
Many of the bystanders were moved to tears at 


the sight of the little princess whom political 
exigencies had summoned from her home at so 
tender an age ; but Adelaide was careful to control 
her own feelings, and bowed and smiled graciously 
in response to the cheers which greeted her. The 
Duchess of Savoy, Madame Royale, and the Prince 
and Princess di Carignano accompanied the trav- 
eller as far as Avigliano, where she passed the first 
night of her journey. 

The leave-taking with her mother and grand- 
mother on the morrow was naturally a very trying 
moment for Adelaide, and, despite all her heroic 
resolutions, she was unable to restrain her tears. 
Butj since Tesse, who was remaining at Turin until 
a French Ambassador had been appointed, told 
her that the future Duchesse de Bourgogne ought 
not to cry at anything which made her unhappy, 
she hastened to write to him that " though she 
wept much, she had remembered that he had 
enjoined her, in case she wept, to laugh immedi- 
ately afterwards, and to bear in mind the position 
she was destined to occupy." ^ 

After bidding farewell to her daughter, the 
Duchess of Savoy, with Madame Royale and the 
Princess di Carignano, returned to Turin, but the 
Prince di Carignano accompanied the little traveller 
as far as Susa, where he also took his leave. The 
cortege crossed the Alps safely, and entered Savoy, 
where its progress seems to have been considerably 

^ Tesse to the King, October i6, cited by the Marchesa Vitel- 
leschi. M. d'Haussonville, who also cites this passage, seems to 
be under the impression that it relates to the princess's parting 
with her Piedmontese attendants at the Pont-de-Beauvoisin on 
the 17th, but the date of the letter shows that it must refer to 
what happened at Avigliano nine days earher. 


impeded by the enthusiasm of the inhabitants. 
Every one wanted to see this httle princess, who 
had become a gage of peace between the two 
nations ; every town wished to present her with 
an address of welcome. At Montmehan, which 
was still occupied by the French, the garrison 
received her under arms, and the governor escorted 
her for a considerable distance. On bidding her 
farewell, he begged her to name the password for 
the day, upon which she immediately replied : 
" Saint-Louis," and added : " He will be my saint 

Chambery was reached on the evening of 
October 13, whence the Conte di Vernone, the 
Duke of Savoy's Master of the Ceremonies, ad- 
dressed the following letter to Victor Amadeus : — 

" October 13, 1696 
" Most Illustrious and Most Excellent Lord and 
Most Beloved Master, — This evening, the Most 
Serene Princess has arrived at Chambery, in 
excellent health, having met with no other mishap 
than the accidental entry of a gnat into her left 
eye, near Montmelian, which has occasioned her 
some annoyance, but caused little loss of time ; and, 
although this evening she still suffers some slight 
inconvenience in the eye, I trust that by to-morrow 
she will be altogether rid of it. 

" The stay which she will make here to-morrow 
was absolutely essential, on account of the fatigue 
which one is bound to take into consideration in 
the case of one of such tender years, in order that 
she may remain in the same good health as when 
she left Turin, and that she may be conducted 
to the Pont-de-Beauvoisin in the best possible. 
"Throughout the journey the demonstrations 


of joy and affection among the people have been 
all that one could possibly desire, and this town 
has shown more than on any previous occasion, 
though, since the relation would be too long to 
set down here, I shall reserve it for an audience. On 
Monday, the Princess will sleep at fichelles, where 
she will breakfast on Tuesday morning, and in 
the evening she will reach the Pont. These two 
easy stages are to be undertaken with the inten- 
tion that the Princess shall arrive there in good 
health, as we have recognised that to cover the 
remainder of the way by a long journey, as that to 
the Pont is, would not be to her advantage. 

" I beg Your Excellency to honour me with a 
continuance of your powerful protection, and that 
you will believe me with respect and devotion, which 
will endure so long as I live, 

" Your Excellency's very humble, very respect- 
ful, and very grateful servant, 


The ancient capital of Savoy had prepared for 
the daughter of its sovereign a splendid reception. 
The municipality had raised for the occasion a 
company of twenty-four cavalry, dressed in scarlet 
greatcoats, while the trappings of their horses were 
of the same colour, who, together with a great 
number of the gentlemen of the neighbourhood, 
met the princess some distance from Chambery, 
and escorted her into the town, which was brilliantly 
illuminated. Moreover, it had provided all the 
children with plumes to wear in their hats, and all 
the servants with red coats with a star on the 

At the chateau, where she was, of course, lodged, 

' A. Gagnifere, Marie Adelaide de Savoie: Lettres et Correspondances, 


she found the principal ladies of the town awaiting 
her, whom, we are told, she received with the 
utmost graciousness. On the morrow, she began 
the day by hearing Mass in the chapel and receiv- 
ing an address from the clergy, after which, having 
fortified herself by breakfast, she spent some hours 
in giving audience to the various public bodies which 
came to felicitate her. Vernone had announced 
that only persons of a certain rank were to be per- 
mitted to kiss her Highness' s hand, and this enabled 
her to escape the indiscriminate osculations which 
she had been compelled to endure at Turin. Never- 
theless, it is to be feared that the benefit which the 
little traveller was expected to derive by breaking 
her journey at Chambery must have been seriously 
discounted by the intolerable ennui of these official 

Nor when the last deputation had bowed itself 
out of her presence, was she permitted to rest, since 
she was then required to attend a service at the 
Church of Saint-Frangois ; next, to partake of a 
collation with the nuns of the Convent de la Visita- 
tion ; and, finally, to hold a sort of " drawing-room " 
at the chS,teau. 

When the princess and her escort had reached 
Chambery the previous evening, they had found 
awaiting them there a grave and important person- 
age, who announced that he was M. Desgranges, 
the French Master of the Ceremonies, and that he 
had preceded the rest of his company in order to 
discuss with the Conte di Vernone the momentous 
question of the ceremonial to be observed on the 
arrival of her Highness at the Pont-de-Beau- 


Doctors, lawyers, divines, and diplomatists are 
all proverbially fond of argument, but their powers 
of disputation are feeble indeed compared with 
those of the officials to whom was entrusted the 
duty of regulating the minute ceremonial of the 
Courts of the seventeenth century; and, on the 
present occasion, both Vernone and Desgranges 
were compelled to admit that in the other he 
had certainly found a foeman worthy of his steel. 
While the Princess Adelaide was engaged in 
receiving addresses and visiting churches and 
convents, these two functionaries were closeted 
together in strenuous argument, every point which 
admitted of the smallest difference of opinion being 
debated with as much fervour and eloquence as 
though the fate of Europe depended upon it. The 
question most difficult of solution was whether the 
French escort should advance on to Savoyard 
ground to receive the princess, or await her on 
French soil. Vernone argued for the former course, 
citing the precedent of Victor Amadeus himself, 
who, in 1684, had crossed the Pont-de-Beauvoisin 
to welcome his wife. But to this Desgranges replied 
that the Duke's eagerness to behold his bride had led 
him, in his opinion, to commit a breach of etiquette ; 
but that, even presuming he had not, the circum- 
stances of 1684 were very different from those 
which they had now to consider, since Anne 
d' Orleans had been already married by procuration, 
while her daughter was only betrothed. Neither 
functionary would give way an inch, and it seemed 
as if the princess would have to remain at Cham- 
bery until the question had been referred to their 
respective Courts. At length, however, they hit 


upon a truly brilliant idea, of which each subse- 
quently claimed the credit. 

We have mentioned that the western half of 
the Pont-de-Beauvoisin was regarded as French 
territory, and the eastern as Savoyard ; and it was 
now arranged that the royal coach destined for the 
princess should be brought to the middle of the 
bridge, in such a way that the front wheels should 
rest in France and the hind wheels in Savoy ; while 
the two escorts should also advance on to the bridge, 
each, however, remaining on its own territory. 
Her Highness was then to enter the coach, and 
the difficulty would thus be solved without being 
decided, and the dignity of both nations and the 
reputation of the two high priests of etiquette duly 

But the questions which he had discussed with 
the Conte di Vernone were not the only ones with 
which M. Desgranges was called upon to deal. 
Louis XIV had not yet decided the exact rank 
which the Princess Adelaide was to occupy in 
France until the celebration of her marriage, and 
the problem now presented itself whether she 
was to be treated as the Duchesse de Bourgogne, 
that is to say, as the first lady in the land, or merely 
as a foreign princess. If as the former, then the 
Comte de Brionne must stand when she was seated ; 
if as the latter, then, since he was a member of the 
princely House of Lorraine, he had the right to 
sit down also. This delicate question caused poor 
Desgranges much perplexity, particularly as Brionne 
informed him that, unless the lady were to receive 
at once all the honours which would eventually 
be hers, he should insist on asserting his claim. 



His resourcefulness, however, again saved the situa- 
tion; and it was agreed that, whenever they had 
anything to say to one another, both the princess 
and the count should carry on their conversation 
standing up. Nevertheless, this was by no means 
the only embarrassment to which the ambiguous 
position of the princess threatened to give rise ; and 
the worthy Desgranges was therefore immensely 
relieved when a courier arrived from Versailles 
with his Majesty's instructions that she was to be 
accorded the rank of Duchesse de Bourgogne, and 
to receive all the honours usually paid to a 
Daughter of France, with the exception of the title 
of Royal Highness. 

All the preliminaries having been thus satis- 
factorily settled, on the morning of October 16, 
the Princess Adelaide and her escort, which had 
been swollen to the size of quite a small army by 
the accession of nobles and gentry from all the 
country round, quitted fichelles, where she had 
passed the night, and at three o'clock in the after- 
noon reached the Pont-de-Beauvoisin. In the 
exact centre of the bridge stood the royal coach 
which was to receive her, draped in violet, since the 
French Court was in mourning, with the horses' 
heads turned in the direction of France. Beyond 
it the French escort was drawn up, while both 
banks of the little river were thronged with spec- 

But we will allow the Conte di Vernone to 
describe the ceremony which followed : — 

" Near the middle of the bridge stood the Comte 
de Brionne, the Duchesse du Lude, the Marquis 


Dangeau, and all the rest of the King's Household. 
There the Princess's sedan-chair stopped, and I 
said to the Comte de Brionne : ' Monsieur, here is 
the Marchese di Dronero,' and to the Duchesse du 
Lude : ' Madame, here is the Principessa della 
Cisterna.' The Marquis (sic) Desgranges said to 
the Marchese di Dronero : ' Monsieur, here is the 
Comte de Brionne,' and to the Principessa della 
Cisterna : ' Madame, here is the Duchesse du Lude.' 
Finally, the Marchese di Dronero said to the Comte 
de Brionne : ' Here is the Princess of Savoy,' and 
the Marchese di Dronero repeated the same phrase 
to the Principessa della Cisterna and to the Duchesse 
du Lude. And all immediately bowed and saluted 
the Princess, according to the custom of France, 
as did also the Marquis d'Anjou [Dangeau]. Then 
the Marchese di Dronero showed the order that 
he carried to consign the Princess to his care ; and 
the Comte de Brionne, to whom the order to 
receive the Princess had been given, thanked him 
in civil and courteous terms." ^ 

Brionne next made a speech to the princess, 
who had alighted from her sedan-chair, expressive 
of the pride and joy which he felt at having been 
deputed by the King to receive her, and presented 
to her Dangeau, the Duchesse du Lude, and the 
other ladies of her suite. These presentations 
concluded, a French page stepped forward and 
took the train of the princess's gown from the 
hands of the Savoyard page who held it, upon 

^ ceremonial du Comte de Vernon, Annie 1696. Rilation du 
mariage de la Princesse Marie AdUatde de Savoie avec le Due de 
Bourgogne, published by Gagnifere. 


which the latter began to weep copiously, — a mark 
of sensibility which, we are told, was " regarded 
with all the attention which the heart of this 
worthy gentleman merited." Then Brionne took 
the princess's right hand and Dangeau her left, 
and assisted her to mount into the royal coach, 
into which she was followed by the Principessa 
della Cisterna and the Duchesse du Lude ; and, 
amid cries of " Vive le Roi et la princesse de Savoie!" 
from the crowd which had gathered at the head 
of the bridge, the future Duchesse de Bourgogne 
made her entry into France, and was driven to the 
lodging which had been prepared for her. 

On her arrival, all the officers of the King's 
Household who had accompanied the escort were 
presented to her in turn, " the princess receiving 
them with infinite grace, and giving them proofs 
of her great benevolence." In the evening, she 
supped with the Principessa della Cisterna and 
her sous-gouvernante, Madame des Noyers, while 
the Comte de Brionne and the Duchesse du Lude 
entertained the principal nobles and ladies of the 
Piedmontese escort. Then the princess was put to 
bed by the Principessa della Cisterna, who slept 
in her chamber, " the Duchesse du Lude having 
willingly surrendered to her this honour." 

The Duchesse du Lude was delighted with the 
princess, whose modesty, sweet temper, and charm- 
ing manners conquered her heart at once. " I 
wish," she remarked to the duchess, " that you 
could have been in some little corner, when mamma 
has spoken to me of you, to hear all the kind things 
that she said to me " ; and, when a courier arrived 
from the Court with a letter for her Highness, 


she immediately handed it to the dame d'honneur 
and begged her to open it, observing that she was 
still too young to open her own letters. The other 
ladies of her Household seem to have been equally 
pleased with their little mistress, and Dronero 
wrote to Victor Amadeus that he had found the 
princess conversing with them with as much 
self-possession as though she had known them all 
her life. 

It had been arranged that Adelaide should 
set out for Fontainebleau in the early afternoon 
of the following day (October 17). Before the two 
escorts parted company, however, Brionne and 
Desgranges, on behalf of the King, presented 
gifts of more or less magnificence, according to 
their several degrees, to all the principal per- 
sonages who had accompanied the princess from 
Turin : jewels and diamond - bracelets to the 
ladies, rings and miniatures of Louis xiv set with 
diamonds to the men. The present received by 
the Principessa della Cisterna was valued at 31,628 
livres, that of Dronero at 14,620 livres, and that 
of Vernone at 8719 livres. The humbler members 
of her escort received presents of money. 

All were loud in their praise of his Majesty's 
generosity, with the single exception of an equerry 
of the Duke of Savoy named Maffei, who had 
been despatched by his master to bid the princess 
bon voyage, and to bring him an account of her 
reception. Since his arrival had not been fore- 
seen, there was no suitable present for him ; and 
though Brionne offered him a considerable sum 
of money, he intimated that it would be beneath 
his dignity to accept it. At the same time, he 


let it be known that he would be quite satisfied 
with a sword, if one worthy of his acceptance 
could be found ; and, rather than allow him to 
depart empty-handed, Dangeau, whose courtesy, 
tact, and good-humour had made a very favourable 
impression upon the Piedmontese, immediately 
offered his own — a magnificent weapon — the hilt 
and scabbard of which were set with diamonds. 

The moment for departure having arrived, the 
Piedmontese attendants came to take their leave 
of the princess. The Duchesse du Lude had 
urged that this ceremony should be curtailed as 
much as possible, in order that her little mistress 
might not be too much distressed. But Adelaide, 
although in a very lachrymose condition, insisted 
on receiving every one; and when the ordeal was 
over, turned to her dame d'honneur and, smiling 
through her tears, exclaimed, " Now I shall be 
sad no more, since I know that I am going to be 
henceforth the happiest person in the world." 

The princess and her escort passed the night 
of the 17th at Bourgoin, and at four o'clock on 
the following afternoon arrived at Lyons, — then, 
as to-day, the second city in France, — where 
" ceremonies such as had never been seen before 
in like circumstances " awaited her. Some distance 
from the town she was met " by two thousand 
horsemen, and a great number of ladies occupying 
a very great number of carriages," who escorted 
her to the Porte-de-Rhone, the gate by which she 
was to make her entry. Here she was welcomed 
by the Provost of the Merchants, who delivered 
a long harangue in the approved fashion of the 
period, declaring that " Heaven could not reserve 


for her a more brilliant destiny ; that all France 
tasted in anticipation the fruits of the union of 
the two noblest families in the world," and so 

The princess having acknowledged the compli- 
ments of the Provost/ the cortege proceeded to the 
Place Bellecour, where her Highness was to lodge 
at the house of a certain M. de Mascagny, which 
was considered the finest in the town ; the inter- 
vening streets being lined by thirty-six companies 
of the citizen militia under arms. On alighting 
from her coach, she was received by the Marquis 
de Canaples, commandant of the garrison, who 
conducted her to the apartments prepared for her, 
amid the firing of cannon and muskets, the ringing 
of church bells, and other manifestations of joy. 
Here she was presently waited upon by two of 
the city officials in their robes of office, who came 
to present her, in the name of their colleagues, 
with " a number of boxes of sugar-plums and 
sweetmeats," which, we may conjecture, pleased 
the little lady infinitely more than the high-flown 
compliments that accompanied the gift. At night 
the entire city was illuminated, and, as a further 
concession to the youth of its illustrious guest, 
the municipality thoughtfully arranged for a display 
of fireworks on the " Place," opposite her windows. 

1 The Comte d'Haussonville, who follows the official account pre- 
served in the City Archives, says that the princess merely " thanked 
the Provost, from her carriage, by an incUnation of the head and 
body, and told him that she would acquaint the King with the 
honour that had been paid her." But Madame de Maintenon 
told Govone, the Envoy Extraordinary of Savoy at Versailles, 
that " the princess had made a better response than the King 
himself could have done," which seems to imply that she made 
something in the nature of a speech. 


Adelaide remained three days in Lyons,^ her 
time being chiefly occupied in receiving deputations, 
and visiting churches, convents, and colleges ; while, 
on one occasion, she dined au grand convert, that is 
to say, in the full gaze of the public, as did Louis xiv 
at Versailles. On the 21st, she departed, the citizen 
militia being again placed under arms, and acclaim- 
ing her as she passed by as " la Princes se de la 
Paix " ; " and joy," writes the chronicler of these 
events, " ceased in the town of Lyons." " 

The amiability, modesty, and charming manners 
of the little princess won golden opinions from all 
her escort, and the letters which Dangeau and 
Desgranges addressed to Versailles were full of her 

' Soon after the princess's company reached Lyons, a courier 
arrived from the Marchese di Dronero, bearing the acte de deliver- 
ance, or formal acknowledgment of the safe deUvery of the 
princess's person into his hands, which Brionne had handed him at 
the Pont-de-Beauvoisin, and a letter in which he pointed out 
that in this document his master the Duke of Savoy was referred 
to, not as " Royal Highness," — by which title he had been mentioned 
in all the other acts relating to the marriage, — but as " Highness " 
only, and stated that he should refuse to accept it unless the 
error was rectified. Vernone had remarked this omission at the time 
when the document was handed to him for his approval ; but, being 
unwilling to delay the departure of the princess, he had refrained 
from mentioning it to Dronero, and it was not until the following 
day that the marquis had discovered it. The omission was, of 
course, intentional, since Brionne was, as we have mentioned, a 
member of the House of Lorraine, between which and the House 
of Savoy there was a long-standing quarrel over precedence ; and 
now, despite all the persuasions of Dangeau and Desgranges, he 
firmly refused to repair it. The difficulty, however, was finally 
overcome by a new " receipt " being drawn, in which the Duke 
of Savoy was not mentioned at all. 

" "Relation des receptions qu'a eues la Princesse Marie- Adelaide 
dans les diverses cit^s de France, du Pont-de-Beauvoisin jusqu'd, 
Versailles, A I'occasion de son voyage pour contracter son mariage 
avec le due de Bourgogne, et de la maniire avec laquelle elle fut 
regue du Roi et de la Cour," Mercure de France, November, 1696. 


praises. " The more we see of her," writes Dangeau 
to Torcy from Lyons, " the more the good opinion 
which we have formed of her increases. And, some 
days later : " She is quite a child ; but, with much 
childishness, she shows good-sense and intelligence, 
amiability, and animation." Desgranges is not less 
flattering, though he seems to have considered her 
much more advanced for her age than did Dangeau, 
since, after paying tribute to her sweet temper and 
other good qualities, he adds : " On my part, I 
persist in asserting that she is not a child of eleven 
at all, but a sensible woman, capable of being married 
at once. The serious little replies that she makes 
to the compliments paid her are spontaneous, and 
are assuredly not suggested to her." ^ 

The princess continued her journey northwards, 
relieving the tedium of the official receptions which 
awaited her in every town through which she 
passed by playing various games with the ladies 
and gentlemen of her escort. Like the great 
Napoleon, she seems to have been particularly par- 
tial to bhndman's buff ; and Dangeau, who was her 
favourite playmate, wrote that her Highness had 
been greatly disappointed, on reaching the Httle 
town of Saint-Pierre, to find that her apartment 
was too small to admit of her indulging in this time- 
honoured pastime. 

' Published by the Comte d'Haussonville. On the other hand, 
Adelaide's appearance would not appear to have impressed her 
suite very favourably at first, since we find Madame de Maintenon 
writing to her friend Madame de Berval : " We are informed that 
the Princess of Savoy, although plain, is not displeasing." Sub- 
sequently, however, much more reassuring reports in regard to 
this must have reached Versailles, since, a few days later, the same 
lady tells Dangeau that she will " esteem it a happiness to super- 
intend the education of one so beautiful and so naturally good." 


At la Charity, where they arrived on All Hallows' 
Eve, and remained three days, they learned that 
Louis XIV, whose original intention had been, it 
will be remembered, to receive the princess at 
Fontainebleau, had altered his plans, and decided 
to come as far as Montargis to meet her, and that 
he would be accompanied by almost the entire Court. 
Such condescension on the part of his Majesty, 
which was the more remarkable, since he was in 
indifferent health at the time, and Montargis did 
not contain any residence of sufficient size to accom- 
modate himself and his suite, proves that he must 
have been all impatience to behold his future grand- 
daughter, and to judge for himself the truth of the 
reports which had reached him concerning her. 

The King left Fontainebleau at a little after noon 
on November 4, accompanied by the Dauphin, the 
Prince de Conti, the Due du Maine, the Comte de 
Toulouse, and a brilliant suite, and reached Montargis 
at four o'clock, where the Presidial had been pre- 
pared for his accommodation. Monsieur and his son, 
the Due de Chartres, who were, of course, Adelaide's 
nearest relatives, had preceded the Court, with the 
intention of meeting the princess en route and of 
being the first of the Royal Family to embrace her. 
But considerations of etiquette appear to have 
intervened, and they went no farther than 

At six o'clock in the evening, the princess, who 
had quitted la Charit6 at ten that morning, 
arrived, and proceeded to the Pr6sidial, where 
Louis XIV was awaiting her. But let us allow the 
correspondent of the Mercure to relate what followed 
in his own words : 


" So soon as the King, who was on the balcony 
of his lodging, caught sight of the carriage, his 
Majesty descended with all the Princes to receive 
her. On stepping out of her coach, she wished to 
fall on her knees, but the King embraced her and 
prevented her, saying, ' Madame, I await you with 
much impatience.' And the King kissed her three 
times. She took his Majesty's hand and kissed it 
very tenderly. That Prince presented Monseigneur 
[the Dauphin], whom she kissed twice, and Monsieur 
once. She inquired where her dear uncle, the Due 
de Chartres, was. The King gave her his hand to 
mount the staircase, which occupied some time, 
since the steps were occupied by an immense number 
of distinguished persons, to whom they had the 
kindness to show her, by the light of the torches 
which the ushers carried. That Prince conducted 
her to the chamber which was prepared for her, 
where he presented to her all the great nobles in 
turn, whom she saluted according to their quality. 
The Princes and the dukes and peers she kissed, 
the King being unable to refrain from remarking her 
grace and intelligence. And, as the young Princess, 
in replying to the questions which his Majesty 
addressed to her, made use of the word Sire, the 
King told her that henceforward she must call him 
Monsieur. Monseigneur did not appear less pleased 
than his Majesty, who asked her many questions, 
to which she replied very intelligently and clearly. 
During this conversation, the Princess twice took 
his Majesty's hand, which she kissed very affec- 
tionately. In short, she did not appear in the 
slightest degree embarrassed. His Majesty then 
went to his apartment until supper-time, while 


she received the compUments of the Presidial, the 
Mayor, the Sheriffs, and all the public bodies of 
the town." ^ 

On reaching his apartment, Louis xiv sat down 
at his desk to give Madame de Maintenon his first 
impressions of the new arrival — this little rosebud 
of Savoy, which had come over the mountains to 
gladden with its beauty and its fragrance his dull 
and ceremonious life. And here is his letter, 
which is not only an admirable pen-picture of 
Adelaide, but is so eminently characteristic of the 
writer that, lengthy though it is, it would be impos- 
sible to omit it. 

" MoNTARGis, 4 November, 6.30 p.m. 
" I arrived here before fiveo'clock; the princess did 
not arrive until six. I went to the coach to receive 
her ; she allowed me to speak first, and afterwards 
replied extremely well, but with a little embarrass- 
ment that would have pleased you. I conducted her 
to her room through the crowd, letting her be seen, 
from time to time, by causing the torches to be 
brought near to her face. She bore this progress 
with grace and modesty. At length we reached 
her room, where there was a crowd and heat enough 
to kill us. I showed her now and then to those who 
approached her, and I studied her in every way, 
in order to write you my impressions of her. She 
has the best grace and the most beautiful figure that 
I have ever seen : dressed to paint, and coiffee the 
same ; eyes bright and very beautiful, the lashes 
black and admirable ; complexion very harmonious, 
white and red, all that one could desire ; the most 

1 " Relation des receptions qu'a eues la Princesse Marie Adelaide 
dans les diverses citis de France, etc.," Mercure de France, November 


beautiful hair, and a great quantity of it. She is 
thin, as befits her age ; her mouth is rosy, the Hps 
full, the teeth white, long, and ill-placed ; the hands 
well-shaped, but the colour of her age. She speaks 
little, so far as I have seen, and shows no embarrass- 
ment when she is looked at, like a person who has 
seen the world. She curtseys badly, and with rather 
an Italian air. She has also something of the 
Italian m her face ; but she pleases ; I saw that in 
the eyes of all present. For my part, I am very 
satisfied with her.^ She bears a strong resemblance 
to her first portrait, not to the second." To speak 
to you, as I always do, I find her all that could be 
wished ; I should be sorry if she were more beautiful. 
" I say it again ; everything is pleasing except 
the curtsey. I will tell you more after supper, for 
then I shall remark many things which I have not 
been able to see as yet. I forgot to tell you that she 
is short rather than tall for her age." 

At this point in his letter the King laid down 
his pen and returned to Adelaide's apartments, 
where he found the Dauphin, Monsieur, the Due 
de Chartres, Govone, the Envoy Extraordinary 
of Savoy, and Dangeau. " I wish," said he to 
his brother, " that her poor mother could be here 
for a few moments to witness the joy that we feel. 
I would not have her changed in any way what- 
ever." He then set the princess to play with her 
ladies, and admired her graceful movements.^ 

1 " I took the liberty of inquiring of him, as he was re-entering 
his apartment, if he were satisfied with the princess. He answered 
that he was, but too much so, and that he found it di£&cult to contain 
his joy." Dangeau, Journal, November 4, 1696. 

* That is to say, to the miniature which Tesse had sent from 
Pinerolo, and not to the full-length portrait which the Duchess 
of Savoy had sent to Monsieur. See p. 69, supra. 

' Dangeau, Journal, November 4, 1696. 


When supper was announced, Dahgeau, in his 
capacity of chevalier d'honneur, gave the princess 
his hand to conduct her to table, where she sat 
between the King and the Dauphin. Her be- 
haviour during the meal was perfect ; and it was 
particularly remarked that she partook of no dish 
without prettily thanking the officer who handed 
it to her. His Majesty playfully inquired what 
she thought of his son's figure {Monseigneur had 
a very decided tendency to embonpoint), to which 
she gravely replied that, although he was certainly 
stout, he did not seem to her too stout, and that 
she had expected to find him much more so. 

After supper, His Majesty accompanied her to 
her bedchamber, telling her that "he did not 
know whether she was tired of him, but that, for 
his part, he could not bring himself to leave her." 
And he waited while her women put her to bed, 
and then departed to his cabinet, in high good- 
humour ; and, before retiring to rest, added the 
following postscript to his letter to Madame de 
Maintenon, which he despatched to Fontainebleau 
by one of his equerries : — 

" The more I see of the princess the more satis- 
fied I am. We have had a further conversation, 
in which she said nothing ; and that is saying 
all. Her figure is very beautiful, — one might say 
perfect, — and her modesty will please you. We 
supped, and she failed in nothing, and showed 
charming courtesy to every one ; but towards me 
and my son she failed in nothing, and behaves as 
you might have done. She was closely watched 
and observed, and every one seemed in good faith 
to be satisfied. She has a noble air and polished 


and agreeable manners. I take pleasure in telling 
you such good of her, for I find that, without either 
prepossession or flattery, I can do so, and that 
everything impels me to do so." ^ 

As it had been decided to start for Fontaine- 
bleau early on the following day, the princess rose 
at six o'clock. The King did her the honour of 
attending her toilette, and " admired her hair, 
which is the most beautiful in the world." At 
nine, he conducted her through the midst of an 
enormous crowd, which the Mercure de France 
estimates at more than twenty thousand persons, 
to the church of the college of the Barnabite 
Fathers,^ to hear Mass, during which the " Princess 
prayed to God with an edifying piety." Dinner 

1 Sainte-Beuve's comments on this letter are interesting : 
" Language excellent, phrases neat, exact and perfect, terms 
appropriate, good taste supreme in everything which concerns 
what is external and visible, in whatever belongs to regal repre- 
sentation. As for the moral basis, that, one must allow, is thin 
and mediocre, or rather it is absent. . . . There is certainly a 
mention of modesty once or twice in this letter ; but it is of the 
modest demeanour, of the good effect which it produces, of the 
grace which depends on it. For all the rest, it is impossible to find 
in these pages anything other than a charming description, physical, 
external, mundane, without the smallest concern as to the inward 
and moral quahties. Evidently, in this case, he troubles as Uttle 
about these as he is deeply concerned for externals. Let the 
princess succeed and please, let her charm and amuse, let her 
adorn the Court and enliven it, let her then have a good confessor, 
a Jesuit confessor and a reUable one ; and, for the rest, let her 
be and do as she pleases. The King her grandfather asks nothing 
else of her. That is the impression which the letter leaves upon 
me."—Causeries du Lundi, la Duchesse de Bourgogne. 

" This college had been founded by Monsieur as a thank- 
offering for the victory he had gained over WiUiam of Orange, 
at Cassel, in April 1677. If we are to believe La Fare, Louis xiv 
was exceedingly jealous of his brother's success in a pitched battle. 
Any way. Monsieur was never again given the command of an 


was taken at eleven, after which the Court set out 
for Fontainebleau, the princess riding in the King's 
coach, with the Dauphin, Monsieur, and the Duchesse 
du Lude. The remaining place in the coach was 
reserved for the Due de Bourgogne, who was to 
meet them on the way. 

The young prince, who had quitted Fontaine- 
bleau at noon with his gouverneur, the Due de 
Beauvilliers, met the Court half a league beyond 
Nemours. Impatient to behold his future wife, 
he alighted from his carriage while some little 
distance still separated it from the royal coach, 
which headed the procession, and advanced on 
foot. However, notwithstanding his eagerness, he 
seemed very embarrassed when actually in the 
presence of the princess, and, instead of paying 
her the pretty compliment which he had doubtless 
prepared, contented himself by twice kissing her 
hand, at which the lady blushed becomingly. 

Fontainebleau was reached at five o'clock. 
The King's coach entered the Cour du Cheval 
Blanc, and his Majesty himself assisted the princess 
to alight. The steps leading from the court to 
the chateau, the terraces, the windows of the 
galleries, even the roofs, were thronged with 
spectators. The King, holding the hand of the 
princess, " who seemed," remarks Saint-Simon, 
" to emerge from his pocket," mounted the stair- 
case at the top of which the Due de Bourgogne' s 
younger brothers, the Dues d'Anjou^ and de 

1 Philippe, Due d'Anjou, bom December 19, 1683 ; became 
King of Spain, as Philip v, on the death of Carlos 11, October, 1700 ; 
married, firstly, in 1702, Maria Luisa of Savoy, younger daughter 
of Victor Amadeus 11; secondly, in 17 15, Elizabeth Famese of 
Parma ; died July 9, 1746. 


Berry ^ were awaiting them. Having presented the 
princes to their future sister-in-law, he conducted 
her to the chapel, where a short service was held, 
and thence to her apartments, which were those 
formerly occupied by his mother, Anne of Austria. 
Here the Princesses of the Blood, Madame de 
Maintenon, and an immense crowd of courtiers 
were waiting to be presented, and the pushing and 
jostling were so great, that people were scarcely able 
to keep their feet, and the Duchesse, de Nemours 
and another lady collided violently with Madame 
de Maintenon, who was only prevented from falling 
by Madame catching her by the arm.^ 

The King remained for some time, and himself 
presented the Prince and Princesses of the Blood. 
Then he retired to his cabinet, leaving his brother 
to take his place. Monsieur stood by his grand- 
daughter's side, naming each person who approached, 
and telling her how he or she was to be received. 
The most had only the privilege of saluting the 
hem of her Highness' s dress ; but when a duke, 
a prince, or a marshal, or their wives, appeared, 
Monsieur gave her a little push, saying, " Kiss," 
and she embraced them. 

This ceremony continued for more than two 
hours, at the end of which, although there was 
still a number of persons awaiting their turn, the 
poor girl, who had been standing the whole time, 
was so tired that it was decided to postpone further 
presentations until the following day. Neverthe- 

1 Charles, Due de Berry, born August 31, 1686; married 1710, 
Marie Louise Elisabeth d'Orleans, eldest daughter of the future 
Regent ; died May 4, 1714. 

'^ Correspondance de Madame, Duchesse d'Orlians (edit. Jaegle), 
Letter of November 8, 1696. 


less, several ladies succeeded in persuading the 
Duchesse du Lude to allow them to remain and 
present them to her mistress while she was being 
prepared for bed; and seldom has the rest of a 
little princess been more thoroughly earned than 
the one which Marie Adelaide of Savoy enjoyed 
on her first night in the ChMeau of Fontainebleau. 
But let us leave the little lady to her slumbers, 
while we speak of the young prince whose 
bride she is to become, and of certain other 
actors on that stage on which she will presently 
play so prominent a part. 


The Due de Bourgogne — Frenzied rejoicings at his birth — His 
parents — The Dauphin (Monseigneur) and Maria Anna of Bavaria 
— Total failure of the elaborate scheme for the education of Mon- 
seigneur — His singular character— His appearance — Melancholy 
disposition and unhappy life of the Bavarian Dauphine — Her 
early death — Monseigneur and Mile, de Choin — Childhood of 
the Due de Bourgogne — The Due de BeauviUiers appointed his 
gouverneur, and Fenelon his tutor. Early career of Fenelon — 
A born teacher — Saint-Simon's portrait of him — ^Methods which 
he! pursues in the education of the Due de Bourgogne — His 
wonderful success — ^Daily life of the Due de Bourgogne and his 
brothers — Their physical training — Appearance of the Due de 
Bourgogne — Aspirations of Fenelon. 

LOUIS, Due de Bourgogne, the eldest of the 
three sons of the Dauphin, or Monseigneur 
as he was called at the Court, and Maria 
Anna of Bavaria, was at the time of the Princess 
Adelaide's arrival at Fontainebleau just completing 
the first quarter of his fifteenth year, having been 
born at Versailles on August 6, 1682. 

Few events of the reign had been awaited with 
such intense anxiety, and few had given rise to 
such frenzied rejoicings. From the early morning 
of August 5, when the pains of labour began, until 
a little after ten o'clock on the evening of the follow- 
ing day^ when the princess was safely delivered, 
" one might have said that all the Court, all the 
nobiUty of France, surrounded the apartment of 
Madame la Dauphine." ^ The King and Mon- 

^ Mercure de France, August 1682. 


seigneur passed the whole of the night of the 5th 
there, without undressing ; while the Place d' Armes 
and all the approaches to the chateau were made 
light as day by a multitude of lanterns and torches 
carried by persons awaiting the auspicious event. 

As, in the case of the birth of a son, Louis xiv 
desired to announce the news himself ; he had 
arranged with Clement, the accoucheur who 
attended the princess, certain words by which 
he was to be informed of the sex of the child. If 
the new arrival were a girl, Clement was to reply 
to his Majesty's inquiry: " Je ne sais pas" ; if a 
boy, he was to answer : " Je ne sais pas encore." 
So soon as the physician pronounced the encore, 
the King turned to the members of the Royal 
Family and the Princes and Princesses of the Blood 
gathered about the bed, and cried in joyful tones : 
" We have a Due de Bourgogne ! " and then, 
hastening to the door communicating with the 
apartment in which the duchesses and dames du 
palais were waiting, communicated the glad 
tidings to tbern ; \Vhile tTtie Duchesse de Crequy, the 
Dauphine's dant/g d'honneur, informed the nobles, 
who occupied another ante-chamber. 

Instantly all was uproar and commotion. The 
joy bordered on delirium. " Some broke through 
the crowd to spread the news on every side ; 
others, without knowing precisely where they 
were or what they did, were transported. There 
were tears of joy ; animosities were forgotten ; 
people embraced those nearest them, without 
distinction of rank." ^ The happy father kissed 
all the ladies indiscriminately. Every one took 

' Mercure de France, August 1682. 


the liberty of embracing the King, and one gentle- 
man, in the fervour of his enthusiasm, bit the 
monarch's finger. " Sire," he exclaimed, as Louis 
uttered an exclamation of pain, " I crave your 
Majesty's pardon, but, if I had not bitten you, 
you would have paid no attention to me." From 
the Dauphine's apartments the enthusiasm quickly 
spread to the exterior of the chateau. " Nothing 
could equal the zeal and activity of M. d'Ormoy.^ 
He ran up and down the staircases, shouting 
everywhere that it was a prince, and he shouted 
so much that for some time afterwards he could 
scarcely speak." One of the King's guards 
dragged the straw mattress on which he had been 
sleeping into the first courtyard and set it on fire ; 
and, as though this were a preconcerted signal, 
lackeys and soldiers carne running from all direc- 
tions, bearing tables, bedding, benches, chairs, 
everything, in short, on which they could lay 
their hands, and soon the flames of gigantic bon- 
fires were mounting to the skies, while about 
them sparsely-clad figures capered and shouted. 

Bontemps, the King's first valet de chambre, 
fearing that such uproarious demonstrations of joy 
might be displeasing to his master, hastened to 
inform him of what was taking place. But Louis, 
whose own satisfaction at an event which seemed 
to assure his throne and his race made him forget 
for a moment the rigid etiquette with which he 
loved to surround himself, only laughed, and 
answered good-humouredly : " Let them alone, so 
long as they do not burn us ! " 

The little prince whose entry into the world had 

' He was one of the King's Gentlemen-in-Ordinary. 


been hailed with such transports of joy was far 
from fortunate in his parents, save from a purely 
worldly point of view ; and it was certainly well for 
him that they exercised little or no control over his 
upbringing. Monseigneur was a singular person- 
age ; " the most incomprehensible man in the world," 
according to Madame. Louis xiv, who had never 
ceased to regret the defects in his own education, had 
early resolved that his son should lack for nothing 
in that respect, and had planned for the Dauphin 
a course of mental and moral training which was 
intended to make him the most accomplished and 
virtuous prince in Europe. The austere old Due 
de Montausier — the husband of the " incomparable 
Julie " of the Hotel de Rambouillet ^ — whom 
many believed to have been the original of Alceste 
in the Misanthrope, was appointed his gouverneur ; 
the great Bossuet was his tutor ; Huet, Bishop of 
Avranches, distinguished alike as a theologian, a 
philologist, and a mathematician, his sous-pricep- 
tenr. It was for him that Bossuet wrote his 
celebrated Discours sur I'Histoire universelle; that 
Fl^chier composed his life of Theodosius, and 
Tellemont his life of Saint-Louis ; that Huet, in 
collaboration with Danet, Pere de la Rue, and 
other savants, published that splendid edition of 
the Latin classics, ad usum Delphini, enriched with 
notes and explanations. Finally, it was to initiate 
him into the mitier de Roi that his royal father 
wrote those MSmoires which have impressed the 
world with so profound a belief in Louis xiv's 
kingly qualities, though it is not improbable that 

1 Julie d'Angennes, daughter of the celebrated Madame de 




the maxims and instructions which Mazarin had 
left behind him for the guidance of his young 
sovereign were incorporated therein. 

And the result of all these labours, of all this 
solicitude, was that Monseigneur became, not the 
ripe scholar, the virtuous prince, the accomplished 
gentleman, whom Louis xiv had expected to see, 
but — the greatest wolf-hunter of his time ! Nor 
is the total failure of one of the most elaborate 
schemes of education ever devised for the benefit 
of a young prince difficult to understand. The 
boy was dull, obstinate, and idle ; his teachers, 
over-conscientious and over-anxious, and their 
zeal defeated the end which they desired to attain. 
It was Montausier who was mainly responsible 
for this lamentable fiasco. He was a worthy 
man, but harsh, unsympathetic, and intolerant 
of failure, and a firm believer in Solomon's precept 
concerning the use of the rod.^ !His severity 
inspired the unfortunate Dauphin with a perfect 
horror of the schoolroom,^ and, since neither 
Bossuet nor Huet seem to have been capable of 
condescending to the level of their pupil's dull 
and sluggish mind, all their pains and all their 
learning were absolutely thrown away. " The 

1 Dubois, valet de chambre to the Dauphin, relates, in his Journal, 
several instances of Montausier's severity to his pupU, of which 
he was an eye-witness. One evening, in August 1671, when the 
toy was ten years old, his gouverneur gave him " five cuts with all 
Ms might on each of his hands," for making the same mistake 
twice over in repeating his Oraison dominicale. " The next day 
he showed me his hands, which were quite purple." 

" " Do you have to write essays ? " inquired the Dauphin one 
day of a lady who had been teUing him of some misfortune which 
had befallen her. " No, Monseigneur." " Ah ! then you don't 
know what sorrow means," rejoined the lad. 


harsh methods by which he was forced to study," 
writes Madame de Caylus, " gave him so great a 
disUke for books, that he determined never to 
open one when he should become his own master ; 
and he kept his resolution." ^ 

Monseigneur, in fact, emerged from his teachers' 
hands a timid, taciturn, awkward youth, incorrig- 
ibly indolent, entirely without ambition, and 
supremely indifferent to everything which did not 
affect his personal comfort. He never read any- 
thing save the Gazette de France, in which the births, 
deaths, and marriages of persons of importance 
were recorded ; he never was known to take the 
faintest interest in affairs of State, save on the 
occasion of the meeting of the Council called to 
decide whether France should accept or reject the 
will of Carlos ii, which left the Crown of Spain to 
Monseigneur' s second son, the Due d'Anjou, when 
he spoke with a warmth which astonished every one 
present in favour of the acceptance of the legacy ; 
and he would spend whole afternoons lolling in a 
chair and tapping his shoes with a cane.* 

" Nevertheless," says Madame, " he was far 
from being a fool, although he always behaved as 
if he were one, through idleness or indifference." 
He was a shrewd observer, told stories agreeably, 
possessed a wonderfully retentive memory, and, 
though Saint-Simon charges him with being without 
taste, he was a good judge of pictures and objets 
d'art, and " one saw in the cabinets of his apart- 
ments an exquisite collection of all that was most 
rare and precious, not only in respect to the neces- 

1 Souvenirs. 

• Duclos, Memoires pour servir A I'histoire de Louis xiv. 


sary furniture, tables, cabinets, porcelains, mirrors, 
and chandeliers, but also paintings by the most 
famous masters, bronzes, vases of agate, jewels, 
and cameos." ^ 

The chief — one might say, the only — occupation 
of his life was hunting. He hunted practically 
every day, even in the height of summer, rising 
frequently at five o'clock in the morning, and some- 
times not returning to Versailles until nearly mid- 
night. The wolf was his favourite quarry, and he 
pursued these animals with such persistence, that 
eventually they became exceedingly scarce in that 
part of the country, much to Monseigneur's annoy- 
ance, but to the great satisfaction of the peasantry. 
For the rest, Monseigneur was " rather above the 
middle height, very fat without being obese, with 
a noble and distinguished air, which had nothing 
repellent about it, a face that would have been 
pleasing, if the Prince de Conti had not accidentally 
broken his nose while they were playing together 
as children, fair hair, a ruddy complexion, the finest 
legs imaginable, and singularly small and delicate 
feet " ; ^ a docile son, with an almost superstitious 
reverence for his imperious father ; a punctilious 
observer of the fasts of the Church, though any- 
thing but strict in his observance of her moral 
ordinances ; * a brave soldier ; an indulgent master, 
and very affable towards his inferiors, particularly 
to the lower-class Parisians, with whom he enjoyed 
great popularity. 

^ Felibieiij in Dussieux, le Chdteau de Versailles. 

^ Saint-Simon, Memoires. 

2 Apropos of this, the Princess Palatine relates the following 
anecdote : " One day the Dauphin brought Raisin, the actress, 
to Choisy, and hid her in a mill, without giving her anything to 


It is probable that the Dauphin might have 
become a more useful, or at any rate a more agree- 
able, member of society, if he had been married to 
a princess of any strength of character. But Maria 
Anna of Bavaria was a poor creature, wholly un- 
fitted for the great position to which destiny called 
her. Not only had she no pretensions to beauty— 
Madame de Caylus goes so far as to declare that 
she was not only ugly, but repulsive — but she was 
shy, retiring, melancholy, and none too sweet- 
tempered. Notwithstanding her unsociable dis- 
position, Monseigneur seems to have been at first 
attached to her, but she made little effort to retain 
his affections, which were presently transferred to 
one of her filles d'honneur, Mile, de la Force. 

When the death of the Queen had made the 
Dauphine, from the hierarchical point of view, the 
first lady of the Court, Louis xiv used every effort to 
draw her out, and persuade her to undertake the 
duties which her position demanded. But the 
princess thought, like Massillon, that " grandeur is 
a weight which wearies," and, after a while, the King 
gave up the attempt in despair, and he and all the 
Court left her to her own devices. Thenceforth she 
passed the most of her time with her confidante 
Bezzola and a few friends in the petits cabinets 
behind her State apartments, which had " neither 
air nor view." Of her children she appears to have 

eat or drink ; for it was a fast-day, and the Dauphin thought there 
was no greater sin than to eat meat on a fast-day. After the Court 
had departed, he gave her for supper some salad and bread toasted 
in oil. Raisin laughed at this very much, and told several persons 
about it. When I heard of it, I asked the Dauphin what he meant 
by making his mistress fast in this manner. ' I had a mind,' he 
replied, ' to commit one sin, not two.' " 


seen but little, and the only occasion on which we 
hear of her intervening in the bringing up of the 
Due de Bourgogne was in 1687, when the boy had 
a severe attack of fever, and she strenuously opposed 
his gouvernante's desire to give him quinine, then 
a newly-discovered remedy. The last years of her 
life were spent in isolation and a kind of semi-dis- 
grace, due to her fidelity to her brother Maximilian 
of Bavaria, who, to Louis xiv's intense indignation, 
had joined the League of Augsburg. The ravages 
committed by the French troops in Germany occa- 
sioned her great distress, and her health, which 
had always been delicate, grew steadily worse. The 
Court physicians appear to have regarded her 
malady as nothing more serious than an aggravated 
form of " vapours " — the king of fanciful com- 
plaints — brought on by the secluded life which she 
persisted in leading; but there can be little doubt 
that it was consumption. Any way, the poor 
Dauphine terminated her melancholy existence 
" willingly and with calmness," according to the 
expression of her compatriot the Duchesse d' Orleans, 
in April 1690, at the age of twenty-nine. 

The Dauphin does not appear to have wasted 
much time in mourning for his consort, and a week 
after the funeral Dangeau records that " Monseigneur 
hunted the wolf." Some years later — probably 
in 1695 — he followed the example of his father 
and contracted a secret marriage d la Maintenon 
with Mile, de Choin, one of the filles d'honneur of 
his half-sister, the Princesse de Conti. Saint-Simon 
paints a far from alluring portrait of this lady, 
whom he describes as " stout, squat, swarthy, 
and snub-nosed " ; but, if she had no pretensions 


to beauty, she possessed intelligence, charming 
manners, and an abundance of good-humour. 
Moreover, she was singularly free from ambition, 
and appears really to have cared for the vacuous 
prince, who, on his side, remained devoted to her 
until the day of his death. 

Louis XIV, who, in the later years of his life, 
showed himself very severe in the matter of morals, 
and had, some time before, banished another 
inamorata of the Dauphin from Court, was at first 
highly displeased at his son's intimacy with Mile, 
de Choin, dismissed the lady from the service of the 
Princesse de Conti, and ordered her to withdraw 
to Paris. When, however, he learned that the 
connection had been regularised, he relented — 
possibly regarding his son's morganatic union as 
a compliment to himself — offered to receive his 
new daughter-in-law, and even to give her apart- 
ments at Versailles. His offers were, however, 
declined, Mile, de Choin preferring to play the same 
role at Meudon as did Madame de Maintenon at 
Versailles ; while, when Monseigneur was not at 
his country-seat, she lived very quietly in Paris. 

Such were the parents of the Due de Bourgogne. 
Happily for him, he bore little resemblance to 
either of them. Nevertheless, there were few in- 
dications in his childhood of what he was eventu- 
ally to become; indeed, his arrogance, wilfulness, 
and ungovernable temper drove his gouvernante, 
the Marechale de la Mothe-Houdancourt, and the 
other women to whose care he was at first confided, 
almost to distraction. The earliest portrait which 
Saint-Simon has drawn of the prince whom he 
afterwards came to regard as a prodigy of saintli- 


ness, altogether too virtuous for this wicked world, 
is really a terrible one : — 

" This prince was born terrible, and in his early 
youth made people tremble. He would fall into 
ungovernable fits of rage, even against inanimate 
objects, would break the clock which summoned 
him to some unwelcome duty, or storm at the 
rain when it prevented him from going out. He 
was impetuous with frenzy ; incapable of support- 
ing the least resistance ; obstinate to excess ; 
passionately fond of all kinds of pleasure. He 
had an ardent inclination for everything which is 
forbidden the mind and the body, and a biting 
cruel wit, which spared no one and never missed 
its mark. His pride and arrogance were inde- 
scribable. As from the height of the sky, he looked 
down upon men, whoever they were, as flies and 
atoms, and even his brothers scarcely seemed to 
him connecting-links between himself and the 
human race, although all three had been brought 
up together in perfect equality." ^ 

Although it is probable that Saint-Simon has 
exaggerated the faults of the child, in order to 
exalt by contrast the noble qualities of the young 
man, there can be little doubt that the portrait 
is, in its main lines, faithful enough ; and when, 
at the age of seven, the Due de Bourgogne passed 
out of the hands of the women, who had been 
only too ready to purchase peace and quiet by 
humouring the little tyrant, into those of the 
Due de Beauvilliers and Fenelon, both gouverneur 

1 M6moires. 


and tutor must have realised that a task of ex- 
ceptional difficulty confronted them. 

Happily, they were in no way daunted by it, 
for two wiser selections it would have been 
impossible to make. Beauvilliers, a younger son, 
who until the death of his elder brother had 
been intended for an ecclesiastical career, was an 
excellent man, profoundly religious, kindly, patient, 
and gentle. Both he and his wife were close 
friends of Madame de Maintenon, " who dined 
with them once or twice every week, with a hand- 
bell on the table, so that they might have no 
servants about them, and might converse without 
restraint " ; ^ and it is not improbable that to 
this lady's influence the duke owed his appoint- 
ment. Nevertheless, it was a nomination which 
met with general approval, as did that of Fenelon ; 
and Madame de Sevign6 wrote that the King 
had made three men out of one duke — in allusion 
to Beauvillier's three offices, gouverneur, First 
Gentleman of the Chamber, and sinecure President 
of the Council of Finance — and that Saint-Louis 
himself could not have chosen better. She added 
that the Abbe de Fenelon was a man of rare merit 
for intelligence, knowledge, and piety.* 

Frangois de Salignac de Lamothe Fenelon — to 
give the future archbishop his full name — entirely 
deserved the high opinion which the writer had 
formed of him, since no divine of the Galilean 
Church has left behind him a more honoured 
memory than the good and gifted man who, at 
the age of thirty-eight, became the preceptor of 

' Saint-Simon, Mimoires. 

' Madame de Sevigne to Madame de Grignan, August 1689. 


the Due de Bourgogne. A member of a noble 
and ancient, but impoverished, P^rigord family, 
his feeble health and studious habits had early 
decided his parents that the priesthood was his 
vocation, and, after a preliminary training in 
classics at the University of Cahors, and in 
philosophy at the College du Plessy, he was sent 
to the theological seminary of Saint-Sulpice, then 
under the direction of the Abbe Tronson, where 
he remained for ten years. Soon after his 
ordination — which appears to have taken place 
some time in the year 1675, though the exact 
date is uncertain — animated partly by evangehcal 
motives, and partly, as he tells us, by " a wish 
to inhale among those precious monuments and 
ruins the very essence of the antique," he formed 
the project of making a missionary journey to 
the Levant, which, however, he abandoned, in 
deference to the wishes of his relatives. For the 
next two or three years his time was mainly 
occupied with attendance at the hospitals and 
other parochial duties in the parish of Saint- 
Sulpice, but in 1678 he was appointed diredeur 
of the Nouvelles Catholiques, an institution 
founded in 1634 by Jean Frangois de Gondi, 
Archbishop of Paris, " to provide young girls 
converted from Protestantism with a safe retreat 
from the persecutions of their relatives and the 
artifices of heretics," though, as a matter of fact, 
most of the inmates were Huguenot children, who 
had been legally kidnapped, in order to bring them 
up in the vState religion. 

Although, even at this early period of his 
career, the sincerity of Fenelon's religious con- 


victions cannot be doubted, there seems to have 
been a strong vein of ambition in his character, 
and he did not disdain " to knock at every door," ^ 
to utilise to the full the opportunities which his 
aristocratic connections gave him for making 
powerful friends, and even to become " one of the 
most outrageous flatterers of Bossuet." ^ Among 
the great houses at which he was a frequent 
visitor, was that of the Beauvilliers, and it was 
at the request of the Duchesse de Beauvilliers — 
a mother of many daughters — that he wrote his 
celebrated treatise De I'Sducation des filles, which, 
originally intended only for private circulation, 
attracted so much attention that in 1687 it was 
given to the public. 

The success which had attended Fenelon's 
gentle persuasiveness with the New Catholics led 
to his appointment as head of a mission which, 
at the end of the year 1685, was despatched to 
Saintonge to preach among the Protestant 
population of that province and complete the 
work which the dragonnades had begun. This 
mission, which lasted until the following July, 
and was renewed for a few months in the spring 
and summer of 1687, resulted in the bringing 
back of many a lost sheep to the Catholic fold; 
but though Fenelon's methods of proselytism 
seem to have been gentleness itself in comparison 
with those in vogue in other parts of France, " it 
is on the whole a dark page in his life." ^ 

However that may be, it undoubtedly increased 

1 Saint-Simon. 

^ Brunetifere, Art. " Fenelon," in la Grande EncyclopSdie 

" Viscount St. Cyres, Frangois de FMelon (Methuen, 1901). 


the favour with which F^nelon was regarded in 
high quarters, and when, two years later, Beau- 
vilhers begged Louis xiv to give him for his 
principal coadjutor in the training of the Due de 
Bourgogne the young ecclesiastic whose treatise 
on the education of girls had demonstrated his 
aptitude for so responsible a post, the King, 
recollecting the good seed sown in Saintonge, 
granted the request without hesitation. 

He soon had reason to felicitate himself upon 
his decision, for rarely has the value of a sound 
and judicious education in eradicating the evil 
propensities of a child been more strikingly de- 
monstrated. What Montausier and Bossuet had 
so conspicuously failed in doing for the father, 
Beauvilliers and Fenelon did for the son. But 
it is to the preceptor to whom the credit of the 
achievement mainly belongs, since Beauvilliers, 
though officially his superior, was really his disciple, 
who readily adopted all his suggestions and left 
him an entirely free hand. Fenelon was a born 
teacher in the highest sense, gifted with all the 
qualities that make for success in that most 
difficult of professions, and combining with these 
gifts an extraordinary personal charm, which left 
a deep impression even upon those who had but 
the slightest acquaintance with him. Saint-Simon 
tells us that he " knew him only by sight," yet 
that mere sight was enough to enable the chronicler 
to grasp the wonderful fascination of the man, 
and to furnish him with materials for one of his 
most arresting portraits. 

" He was," he writes, " a tall thin man, with 
a large nose, eyes from which fire and intellect 


streamed like a torrent, and a physiognomy the 
like of which I have never seen in any other man, 
and which, once seen, could never be forgotten. 
It combined all things, and yet the contradictions 
produced no want of harmony. It united gravity, 
gaiety, and courtesy ; it equally expressed the 
man of learning, the bishop, and the grand seigneur. 
But its prevailing characteristic, as in everything 
about him, was elegance, refinement, grace, modesty, 
and, above all, nobility. It was difiicult to take 
one's eyes off him. His manner was in complete 
accord with his appearance ; his perfect ease was 
infectious to others, and his conversation was dis- 
tinguished by that grace and good taste which are 
only acquired by constant intercourse with the best 
society and the great world." ^ 

Fenelon quickly perceived that, though, thanks 
to the foolish indulgence of his gouvernante and 
her assistants, the boy's faults had hitherto alone 
attracted attention, there was in him the germ 
of much that was good ; that he was, like most 
passionate children, capable of sincere affection ; 
that his quickness and penetration were remark- 
able, and that he was frank and truthful to a 
fault. He therefore set himself to gain the affection 
and confidence of his pupil, and this once secured 
his task was immensely facilitated. Recognising 
that, with so sensitive and highly strung a lad, 
corporal punishment would be a fatal mistake, and 
that even direct reprimands might provoke resent- 
ment rather than contrition, he had recourse to 
other means of bringing home to his pupil the 
gravity of his faults, and awakening in him a desire 

' Mimoires. 


for amendment. Thus, one day, after he had 
fallen into a violent passion, his attendants received 
orders to remark how ill he was looking, which so 
alarmed him that he asked that Fagon ^ should 
be sent for. Fagon, who was, of course, in the 
secret, felt his patient's pulse, looked at his tongue, 
and, after pretending to reflect for a few moments, 
inquired whether something had not occurred to 
irritate the prince. His Royal Highness admitted 
that he had been very much irritated indeed, and 
demanded if that were the cause of his indis- 
position. The doctor rejoined that it was un- 
doubtedly the case, and proceeded to enumerate 
all the maladies to which excess of anger might 
give rise, adding that he had even known instances 
in which those who had been unable to control 
their passion had suddenly fallen down dead. 

Frequently the preceptor made use of object- 
lessons to illustrate the faults of the prince, setting 
him to study La Fontaine's Fables, and to dis- 
cover for himself the moral which they pointed, 
or to compose essays concerning historical per- 
sonages whose pride, obstinacy, or passions had 
brought them to ruin. Sometimes, in order that 
these object lessons might take a form more 
likely to impress themselves on the mind of his 
pupil, he did not shrink from employing deception. 
One morning, a carpenter came to execute some 
repairs in the gallery on to which the prince's 
apartments opened. The boy went out to watch 
what was going on, and began to examine the 
man's tools. Thereupon, the carpenter, who had 

1 Guy Crescent Fagon, chief physician to Louis xiv, and the 
most celebrated doctor of his time. 


received his instructions from F6nelon, pretended 
to fly into a violent rage. " Off with you, prince ! " 
he shouted, " when I am in a temper, I break 
every bone in the bodies of those who come near 
me." The prince, terribly frightened, ran to his 
tutor and told him that the carpenter must be a 
terribly wicked man. " What then," replied Fene- 
lon, " would you call a prince who beats his valet 
de chambre, when the poor fellow is doing his best 
to serve him ? " 

On another occasion, the preceptor contrived 
a much more elaborate piece of deception. He 
showed his pupil a letter which he pretended 
he had received from Bayle, then in exile in Hol- 
land, in which the philosopher spoke of a curious 
medal, which had been sent him by a Dutch anti- 
quary named Vanden, who was travelling in 
Italy. On one side, this medal represented a 
handsome and noble-looking boy, surrounded by 
Apollo, Minerva, and other denizens of Olympus. 
On the reverse, the same boy appeared, but his 
body ended in the tail of a monstrous fish, and, 
instead of the deities and the Muses, he had for 
companions serpents, witches, owls, and satyrs. 
And the writer expressed his belief that this medal 
had been struck by the orders of the enemies of 
France, and was intended to depreciate the good 
qualities of a certain young prince, by imputing to 
him all kinds of vices. ^ 

When the little duke's humour happened to 
be more than usually tempestuous, and F^nelon 
felt that punishment was absolutely necessary, 

1 Comte d'Haussonville, la Duchesse de Bourgogne et l' Alliance 
savoyarde sous Louis xiv. 

JiHiiiiiiiiiii III il I I I mil iiiiiwiiiii nil iiiiiiiiiniiiiniiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiNiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii 






he condemned him to a kind of solitary confine- 
ment. He was not allowed to go out, and no one 
was permitted to visit him ; his books and play- 
things were taken away from him ; he dined and 
supped alone, and his attendants went about with 
sad and averted faces, replied to his questions 
in monosyllables, or ignored them altogether, and 
treated him with mingled pity and contempt, as 
though he were not responsible for his actions. 
A day or two of this treatment generally sufficed 
to bring about the result desired, when the boy 
would confess his fault and ask pardon of those 
whom he had offended. 

Then it appears to have been Fenelon's practice 
to request the penitent to commit his promise 
of amendment to writing, which was presumably 
handed to the prince on the next occasion that 
he showed signs of unruliness, and must have 
served to check many a passionate outburst. One 
of these engagements has been published by the 
Due de Bourgogne's eighteenth-century biographer, 
the Abb6 Proyart, and is thus conceived : — 

" I promise Monsieur I'Abbe de Fenelon, on 
the word of a prince, to do at once what he tells 
me, and to obey him the moment he gives me 
any order ; and, if I fail in this, I will submit to 
any kind of punishment and disgrace. 

" Written at Versailles, the 27th of November 
1689. Louis " ^ 

Kindly, tactful, sympathetic, and " more 
patient than patience itself," ' yet concealing 

1 Vie du Dauphin, pire de Louis xv. 
' Joubert. 


beneath all his gentleness an inflexible deter- 
mination, Fenelon gradually succeeded in estab- 
lishing over the mind and heart of his pupil the 
most complete ascendency, and in bringing about 
that reformation which his contemporaries appeared 
to have regarded as little short of miraculous. 
" God, who is the master of hearts," writes Saint- 
Simon, " worked a miracle in this prince. From 
the abyss he emerged affable, gentle, kindly, 
tolerant, modest, humble, even austere, more than 
was compatible with the duties of his position." ^ 
Indeed, in later years, when Fenelon was no longer 
at hand to guide and direct him, he sometimes 
carried his religious scruples to lengths which 
brought upon him the ridicule of the ungodly, 
and tried the patience even of his old tutor him- 
self, who wrote in 1708, when the duke was in 
command of the French troops in Flanders, re- 
proaching him with " a piety which attempts to 
govern an army like a nunnery." * 

' Saint-Simon places the date of the " miracle " between the 
duke's fifteenth and eighteenth years, but, as a matter of fact, 
it was accomplished several years earlier, probably about the 
time of his first Communion, which produced upon the boy's mind 
a most profound impression. " Since the first Communion of 
the Due de Bourgogne," writes Madame de Maintenon, " we have 
observed the gradual disappearance of all the faults which, in 
his childhood, inspired us with great anxiety for the future. His 
progress in virtue was remarked from year to year. At first jeered 
at by all the Court, he has become the admiration of the most 
pronounced Libertines. He continues to do violence to himself 
in order to eradicate entirely his faults. His piety has so trans- 
formed him that, passionate though he is, he has become even- 
tempered, sweet, complaisant. One would say that this is his real 
character, and that virtue has becopie natural to him." 

' Lord St. Cyres, in his admirable and impartial study of 
F6nelon, blames him for "a dangerous extravagance in the moral 
and spiritual education of his pupil" ; but M. d'Haussonville is of 


And the boy's intellectual progress kept pace 
with his moral development — or rather, outstripped 
it — since he was remarkably inteUigent and 
possessed of a real passion for knowledge. At 
eleven, he had already read Virgil, Homer, Horace, 
Livy, and portions of Tacitus, possessed a good 
general knowledge of modern history, and had 
been so well grounded in geography, that his 
tutor declared that he knew that of France as 
well as he knew the park of Versailles. Yet, so 
far from Fenelon making an attempt to "cram" 
his charge, four hours a day were all that were 
spent in the schoolroom, and the tutor strictly 
adhered to the principle which he himself had laid 
down in his treatise on the education of girls : 
" The less formal lessons that there are, the better. 
An infinite amount of instruction, more useful 
even than lessons, can be imparted in the course 
of pleasant conversation." It was these conversa- 
tions, in which Fenelon succeeded in stimulating 
the interest of his pupil in a variety of subjects, 
which constituted the most valuable part of the 
Due de Bourgogne's education. 

The daily life of the prince and that of his 
younger brothers, the Dues d'Anjou and de Berry, 
when they, in their turn, came under the control 
of Beauvilliers and Fenelon, was marked by a 
simplicity at that time very unusual in the case 
of children of their rank. They rose at a quarter 
to eight, and, so soon as they were dressed, went 

opinion that this reproach ought to be more justly addressed to 
Beauvilliers, under whose influence the Due de Bourgogne came 
during the two years which separated Fenelon's nomination to 
the archbishopric of Cambrai from the prince's marriage, and who 
" set him the example of an almost ascetic piety." 


to hear Mass. Then they attended their father's 
lever, and afterwards that of the King. At nine 
o'clock, they returned to their apartments, where 
they were free to do what they pleased till ten, 
when the first lesson of the day began. This lasted 
until noon, at which hour they dined. After 
dinner, which never occupied more than three- 
quarters of an hour, they had a dancing- or a 
drawing-lesson. At two o'clock, they played 
tennis or some other game with their sous-gouver- 
neur, Denonville or their gentlemen until a 
quarter to three. In summer, they worked with 
Fenelon from three to five, and walked or rode 
from five to seven ; but in winter this order was 
reversed. From seven until a quarter to eight, 
when they supped, they were permitted to amuse 
themselves by reading anything they chose, and 
after supper they played games until bedtime. 
This was generally nine o'clock, but, if they had 
behaved well during the day, they were permitted 
to stay up a quarter of an hour later, as a reward ; 
while if, on the other hand, they had been idle or 
disobedient, they were sent to bed immediately 
after supper. 

Their fare was very plain — much plainer, in- 
deed, than that of the children of many a well-to-do 
citizen of Paris. Breakfast consisted of dry 
bread and a tumbler of water, or water mixed 
with vin ordinaire, whichever they preferred ; 
dinner of boiled beef, stewed chicken, or roast 
pheasant, with a great deal of bread, the con- 
sumption of which was considered of the highest 
importance, and a couple of glasses of light bur- 
gundy, cider, or beer ; supper of roast mutton or 


veal, with a little venison or chicken, and some 
cake or oranges ; while for their " collation " — 
the seventeenth-century equivalent of the modern 
afternoon tea — they were given dry bread or 
biscuits and a glass of water. Ragouts and 
such-like rich dishes were seldom seen upon their 
table, and champagne and other strong wines were 
altogether forbidden. This simple fare was no 
doubt the prescription of the tutor, since he lays 
down very similar rules of diet in his iSducation des 
filles. But their outdoor life was regulated by 
their gouverneur, who was a believer in the value 
of manly exercises, and it should not be over- 
looked that, if the credit for the mental and moral 
training of the Due de Bourgogne and his brothers 
belonged mainly to Fenelon, that of the physical 
was due to Beauvilliers, and that the benefit which 
their bodies derived from the almost Spartan 
system which he insisted upon must have materially 
aided the preceptor informing their minds. "As 
for the exercises which they are made to practise, 
they are of such a kind that no citizen of Paris 
would suffer his children to take the risk of a 
similar training. They are brought up as though 
they were one day intended to become athletes, 
and so persuaded is the Due de Beauvilliers that a 
delicate prince is good for nothing, particularly in 
France, where they are bound to command their 
armies in person, that all the accidents that one 
can foresee from this are powerless to divert him 
from his purpose." Whether the weather were 
wet or fine, they walked or rode every afternoon. 
Neither in the burning sun of July nor in the 
snows of January were they ever permitted to 


cover their heads. They were made to follow the 
chase on foot, and to play tennis until they were 
bathed in perspiration. Colds, coughs, and such- 
like ailments were ignored, and, in case of fever, 
bleeding and purgatives were strictly forbidden, 
and quinine substituted for these fashionable 

Unnecessarily rigorous as such a system may 
appear, it seems to have proved highly beneficial, 
particularly in the case of the Due dfe Bourgogne, 
whom it transformed from a frail, sickly child, 
always imagining that " his soul was about to take 
her flight into his pocket handkerchief," and 
" kingly neither in face nor carriage," ^ if not into 
a robust, at least into a well-grown, pleasant- 
featured, dignified youth. He was, according 
to Saint-Simon — whose description is borne out 
by the portraits of the prince at Versailles — rather 
below the middle height, with a long sallow face, 
thick curly brown hair, a broad forehead, fine 
expressive eyes, a long nose, a pointed chin, and a 
very pleasing expression. He was slightly de- 
formed, one shoulder having early outgrown the 
other and defied all the efforts of the surgeons to 
set it right, and this defect became more marked 
as he grew older ; ^ but, on the other hand, he could 
show a well-turned leg and a small and shapely 

' Marquis de Louville, MSmoire sur I'Sducalion des dues de 
Bourgogne, d'Anjou, et de Berry. 

' Proyart, cited by Viscount St. Cyres. 

' This was generally attributed to his over-anxiety to learn 
to write. In order to effect a cure, the surgeons condemned him 
to wear an iron collar and cross, from which he suffered considerable 
pain, without deriving any benefit. 


Fenelon did not confine himself, as Bossuet 
had formerly done, to instructing the prince in his 
duties in general. He strove to prepare the mind 
and heart of his pupil for the great responsibilities 
that, in the natural course of events, he would 
one day be called upon to bear as the ruler of 
France, and gave him lessons in politics as well 
as in morals. The books which he wrote for the 
duke's use : the Fables, the Dialogues des Marts, 
and, above all, Telemaque,^ in which he subse- 
quently admitted that he had " set down truths 
most necessary to be known by one who was about 
to reign, and described the faults that cling most 
closely to the sovereign power," had a political 
rather than a moral end to serve. " He regarded 
himself as invested with the mission not only 
to educate the prince, but, through him and 
with him, to reform the State, and the courtiers 
seemed to admit that the success of the Due de 
Bourgogne's education foreshadowed that of 
his fortunate preceptor's plans of government." ^ 
However, these high hopes were never destined to 
materialise, since in 1697 the Quietist controversy 
arose to ruin Fenelon' s credit at Court, and destroy 
in a few months the fruit of so many years' patience 
and perseverance. 

' Fenelon also wrote for his pupil a translation of the Mneid. of 
Virgil and a Vie de Charlemagne. But the manuscript of the 
former has been lost, while that of the latter was destroyed in the 
burning of the archiepiscopal palace at Cambrai in 1697. 

' Bruneti^re, Art. "Ftoelon," in la Grande EncyclopMie. 


The Princess Adelaide at Fontainebleau — Madame de Main- 
tenon entrusted with the supervision of her education — Letters 
of that lady to the Duchess of Savoy — BUndman's bufi — Arrival 
of the princess at Versailles — Decision of the King as to the 
life which she is to lead until her marriage — She is visited by 
James ii and Mary of Modena — Motives of her conduct towards 
the King and Madame de Maintenon considered — Relations between 
Louis XIV and his legitimated children — The Due du Maine — 
The Comte de Toulouse — The Dowager-Princesse de Conti — 
Madame la Duchesse — The Duchesse de Chartres — The Bang is 
completely subjugated by the little princess — His attentions to 
her — Dullness of the Court since the conversion of Louis xiv — The 
arrival of the Princess Adelaide brings about a reaction — Amuse- 
ments of the princess 

THE Court remained at Fontainebleau for three 
days after the arrival of the Princess Adel- 
aide, that is to say, until November 7. On 
the 5 th, after hearing Mass, her Highness received 
at her toilette the persons whose presentations had 
been postponed from the previous evening. At 
noon, she dined alone in her apartments, and then 
went to pay her first visit to Madame de Maintenon, 
in whose apartments she found Louis xiv awaiting 

It had long since been decided that the educa- 
tion of the princess was to be completed under the 
care of Madame de Maintenon, a task for which 
the ex-governess's great experience in the manage- 
ment of children eminently fitted her. " The Duke 


of Savoy," wrote Louis xiv to Tess6, some weeks 
earlier, " may make his mind easy in regard to the 
care which will be taken of her [his daughter's] 
education when she arrives at my Court. A skilful 
hand will complete the fashioning of the intelligence 
of which this princess has already given proof. She 
will receive the knowledge and instruction con- 
formable to the rank which she is to occupy, and 
the example of the most perfect virtues will 
strengthen every day the instructions which will be 
given her to cause her to love her duties. I have 
reason to hope that she will follow the sentiments 
wherewith she will be inspired, and that she will 
be made to understand those which she must enter- 
tain in order to ensure the happiness of her life." ' 

Notwithstanding the glowing account of the per- 
fections of the new arrival which she had received 
from the King, Madame de Maintenon must have 
looked forward to the princess's visit with no little 
anxiety, for she was aware that, if her charge were 
to show herself in the least inclined to resent her 
supervision, these rebellious tendencies would be 
sedulously fostered by her enemies at Court, and 
her task might become one of exceptional difficulty. 
She was, however, speedily reassured on that score, 
as will be gathered from the following letter which 
the lady wrote to the Duchess of Savoy : — 

" She [the Princess] has a natural courtesy 
which does not permit her to say anything disagree- 
able. When I wished to resist the caresses which 
she was bestowing upon me, because I was too old, 
she replied : 'Ah/ point si vieille ! ' She ap- 

1 Despatch of September 9, 1696, published by the Comte 


preached me when the King quitted the room, 
and did me the honour to embrace me. Then, 
having noticed at once that I could not remain 
standing, she made me sit down, and seating her- 
self with a caressing air almost on my lap, she said 
to me : ' Mamma has charged me to give you a 
thousand friendly greetings from her, and to ask 
your friendship for myself. Teach me well, I beg 
you, all that I must do to please the King.' These 
are her very words, Madame ; but the gay, sweet, 
and graceful manner which accompanied them 
cannot be described in a letter." ^ 

Later in the afternoon, the princess accompanied 
the King and Madame de Maintenon for a drive, 
the Duchess du Lude, and the Comtesse de Mailly, 
her dame d'atour, also occupying seats in the royal 
coach ; while Monseigneur and a number of nobles 
followed in their own coaches, each of which was 
drawn by a team of six horses. The direction taken 
was by the side of the canal, and, to amuse the little 
lady, his Majesty gave directions for the cormorants 
which were kept there to be set to catch fish. On 
her return to the chateau, the princess paid visits 
of ceremony to Madame, the Dowager-Princesse 
de Conti, Madame la Duchesse (the Duchesse de 
Bourbon), and the Duchesse du Maine, in the order 
of their rank, which duties performed, she returned 
to her own apartments and received the Due de 
Bourgogne and his brothers. 

The exigencies of etiquette having thus been 
complied with, on the morrow the princess was 
allowed a day of repose in her own apartments, 
where she had leisure to contemplate the splendour 

1 Correspondance ginSrale de Madame de Maintenon, Letter of 
November 6, 1696. ; 


of the Crown jewels, a portion of which Louis xiv 
had sent her on the evening of her arrival, with 
directions that she was to wear them whenever she 
pleased,! and to enjoy a game of blind-man's buff 
with her ladies and several distinguished persons 
who came to pay her informal visits. " Every 
one is becoming a child again," writes Madame to 
her aunt, the Electress Sophia of Hanover. " The 
day before yesterday, the Princesse d'Harcourt and 
Madame de Pontchartrain played at blind-man's 
buff ; and yesterday it was the turn of the Dauphin, 
the Prince and Princesse de Conti, two of my ladies, 
and myself. What think you of the company ? " ^ 
Every one, indeed, from the King downwards, 
seems to have been delighted with the intelligence, 
sweet disposition, and high spirits of the little 
princess, and to have been genuinely anxious to 
please and amuse her ; and, allowing for the flattery 
inseparable from such communications, Madame 
de Maintenon undoubtedly expressed the general 
opinion of the Court when she wrote to the Duchess 
of Savoy : — 

" She is perfect in every respect, which is a very 
agreeable surprise in a person eleven years old. I 
do not venture to mingle my expressions of admira- 
tion with those which alone ought to be counted ; 
but I cannot refrain from telling you that, according 
to all appearances, she will be the glory of her time." 

' The Crown jewels at this period, according to Dangeau, were 
valued at 11,333,000 hvres, "without reckoning those which have 
been added since M. de Pontchartrain has had them in his keeping." 
He adds that at the death of Louis xiii their computed value was 
only 700,000 hvres. 

" Conespondance de Madame, Duthesse d'OrUans (edit. Jaegl6), 
Letter of November 8, 1696. 


And she ^ adds : — 

" Your Royal Highnesses do me too much 
honour in expressing your approval of my taking 
her under my supervision. I believe that it will 
have to be confined to preventing people from 
spoiling her, and to praying to God to bless this 
amiable marriage." ^ 

On November 7, the Court quitted Fontaine- 
bleau for Versailles. The King did not leave until 
after mid-day, but the princess preceded him by a 
couple of hours, as Prudhomme, formerly barber 
to Louis XIV, who, on his retirement from his 
Majesty's service, had gone to reside at Le Plessis, 
about an hour's journey from Fontainebleau, had 
begged the honour of being allowed to entertain 
her to dinner, and his request had been granted. 
This worthy man was a great favourite with the 
Royal Family, and particularly with the Due de 
Bourgogne and his brothers, who often accepted 
his hospitality when traveUing between Versailles 
and Fontainebleau. It is not a little singular that 
Louis XIV, always quick to resent the slightest 
attempt at familiarity on the part of his great nobles, 
should have been generally easy and affable in his 
intercourse with his confidential domestics, and 
should have frequently given them marks of con- 
descension which would have been highly prized 
by those in infinitely more exalted stations. But 
the bitter lessons of the Fronde had disinchned 
him to allow the nobility to decrease by a hair- 
breadth the distance between them and their 

1 Correspondance gSnSrale de Madame de Maintenon Letter of 
November S, 1696. , 


sovereign ; while, on the other hand, he was aware 
that the condescension which rewards long and 
faithful service by humbler persons stands in no 
danger of being misunderstood. 

The Court arrived at Le Plessis soon after the 
princess had dined, and her carriage having taken 
its place behind that of the King, the long pro- 
cession of coaches continued its journey to Ver- 
sailles, which was reached at five o'clock in the 
afternoon. His Majesty again gave the princess 
his hand to assist her to alight, and conducted her 
to the apartments formerly occupied by the late 
Queen, and, after her death, by the Bavarian 
Dauphine,! which, Dangeau tells us, had been 
superbly furnished, in honour of their new mistress. 
Louis XIV had, as we have mentioned, decided 
as to the rank which the future Duchesse de 
Bourgogne was to occupy before her arrival at 
the Pont-de-Beauvoisin, and, while the Court 
was still at Fontainebleau, he had also announced 
his decision on the question of how she was to be 
addressed and the life she was to lead during 
the interval which must elapse before her marriage. 
Since, until that event took place, she could not 
well be called "Madame la Duchesse de Bourgogne," 
or even " Madame la Princesse," such being the 
designation of the Princesse de Conde, the King 
directed that she was to be called simply " the 
Princess," by which title Dangeau invariably 
refers to her up t6 the time when she becomes 
Duchesse de Bourgogne, not a little to the mystifi- 

1 And after the Duchesse de Bourgogne, by the Infanta of 
Spain, the fiancie of Louis xv, from 1722 to 1725, when the pro- 
jected marriage was broken off ; next, by Queen Marie Lecziaska ; 
and, finally, by Marie Antoinette. 


cation of students of the period who are unac- 
quainted with his Majesty's decision on this matter. 

The question of the hfe she was to lead 
presented some difficulty, since, on the one hand, 
a princess who had already an almost complete 
Household — dame d'honneur, dame d'atour, and all 
the rest of it — could scarcely be treated as a 
child ; while, on the other, she was still too young 
to hold a little court of her own, like the married 
princesses. He therefore decided on a middle 
course, and directed that the Court should pay 
its respects to her Highness at her toilette twice 
a week — on Tuesdays and Fridays — but that she 
was to dine and sup in solitary state, served by 
the Duchesse du Lude. At the same time, he 
regulated her relations with the Due de Bourgogne, 
who was permitted to visit his bride-elect once a 
week, while his brothers were authorised to pay 
her a monthly visit. 

Two days after the Princess Adelaide's arrival 
at Versailles, the ex- King of England, James ii, 
and his consort, Mary of Modena, came from 
Saint-Germain to visit her. This visit was regarded 
as one of great importance by the Court, since it 
was the first occasion on which the princess, 
in accordance with the King's decision, claimed 
the prerogative to which otherwise she would not 
have been entitled until her marriage — that of 
occupying an armchair exactly similar to that 
of Mary of Modena. The princesses and duchesses 
who were present at the interview sat on tabourets, 
according to the custom of the French Court.^ 

1 Despatch of Govone, Envoy Extraordinary of Savoy, to 
Victor Amadeus ii, November 12, 1696, in Gagnifere. 


A week later, the princess went to Saint- 
Germain to return their Majesties' visit, and again 
occupied the coveted fauteuil. 

The princess continued to make progress in 
the good graces of the Court, and particularly in 
those of the King and Madame de Maintenon. 
Madame and Saint-Simon assert that, from the 
first moment of her arrival, she expressly laid 
herself out to win the hearts of these two all- 
powerful persons, in obedience to the instructions 
she had received from her parents, who were 
aware how greatly their daughter's future happi- 
ness depended on the impression she succeeded 
in making in that quarter. Madame, in one of 
her letters to the Electress of Hanover, declares 
that " for a child of her years, she is very supple. 
She pays little attention to her grandfather 
[Monsieur), and scarcely notices my son (the Due 
de Chartres) and myself. But, so soon as she 
perceives Madame de Maintenon, she smiles at 
her, and goes to meet her with open arms. You 
can understand from this that she is already 
politic." And, in another letter : " It is im- 
possible to be more politic than the little Prin- 
cess. She no doubt owes this to her father's 
training." ^ 

As Madame, who had been the first lady of 
the Court since the death of the Dauphin, six 
years before, was naturally piqued at having to 
yield her place to the new arrival, we might expect 
her to view the conduct of the little princess with a 
somewhat jaundiced eye ; but Saint-Simon, whose 

'■ Correspondance de Madame, Duchesse d'OflSans (edit. Jaegle). 
Letters of November 8 and November 25, 1696. 


admiration for the Duchesse de Bourgogne is well 
known, is here in accord with her. 

" Never," he writes, " had princess, arriving 
so young, come so well schooled and better capable 
of profiting by the instructions which she had 
received. M. de Savoie, who possessed a thorough 
knowledge of our Court, had depicted it to her, 
and had taught her the only way to make herself 
happy there. A great deal of natural intelligence 
seconded him, and other amiable quahties attached 
people's hearts to her, while her position in regard 
to the King and the Due de Bourgogne attracted 
to her the homage of the ambitious. From the 
very moment of her arrival she understood how 
to work to obtain this, nor did she cease so long 
as she lived to continue a work so useful, and 
from which she was continually gathering all the 
fruits." 1 

That her parents and Madame Royale had been 
at pains to impress upon the little princess the 
importance of doing everything possible to gain 
the favour of Louis xiv and Madame de Maintenon 
cannot be doubted ; her letters prove it, and, 
after her death, some instructions which the 
Duchess of Savoy had given her on this matter 
were found among her papers. But, at the same 
time, it would be unjust to her to suppose that 
her efforts to please the King and his wife were 
mainly dictated by the politesse of which Madame 
speaks. For Adelaide of Savoy was a child of a 
singularly sweet and lovable nature, in whose 

^ Mimoires. 


heart kindness and affection awakened a ready 
response ; and if, like a true daughter of Victor 
Amadeus 11, she did not fail to perceive in which 
direction her interests lay, it is certain that she 
soon conceived both for the King and Madame de 
Maintenon a warm and lasting attachment. 

But let us listen to the latter' s niece, Madame 
de Caylus, a very shrewd observer, and one whose 
criticisms of her contemporaries certainly do not err 
on the side of benevolence. 

" The public finds it difficult to imagine that 
princes behave simply and naturally, because it 
does not see them close enough to form a correct 
opinion of them, and because the marvellous, 
which it is constantly looking for, is not met with 
in simple conduct and ordinary sentiments. People 
accordingly preferred to believe that the Dauphine 
[the Princess Adelaide] ^ resembled her father, 
and that she was, from the age of eleven, at which 
she came to France, as crafty and politic as he 
was himself, and affected for the King and Madame 
de Maintenon an attachment which she did not 
entertain. As for myself, who had the honour 
of being admitted to her intimacy, I judge the 
matter differently, and I have seen her weep with 
such sincerity over the great age of these two 
persons, whom she believed, with good reason, 
must die before her, that it is impossible for me 
to doubt her affection for the King." ^ 

Whatever the sentiments which chiefly prompted 

* The Duchesse de Bourgogne became Dauphine after the 
death of Monseigneur, in April 171 1. 
^ Souvenirs. 


the conduct of the little princess in those early 
days at the French Court, her conquest of the 
King was both speedy and complete. Nor is this 
difficult to understand. Egotist though Louis xiv 
was, he combined with his egotism a keen sensi- 
bility. He was capable of deep and sincere 
affection, as is proved by his stubborn resist- 
ance to the arguments and entreaties of Anne 
of Austria and Mazarin in the affair of Marie 
Mancini,^ and all his life he had craved for love. 
In the days of his passionate youth, even his 
most evanescent attachments had been redeemed 
by a touch of sentiment.'* He lavished titles and 
riches upon his mistresses, but these gifts were 
the reward of their affection — or what he fondly 
imagined to be affection — not the price of their 
favours. Never did he use his position as King 
to force his attentions upon any woman whom he 
had reason to believe was indifferent to him as 
a man ; never did he condescend to such odious 
bargains as his grandfather struck with Henriette 
d'Entragues or his contemptible successor with 
Madame de Chateauroux. 

Now that old age and penitence had come 
upon him, it was another kind of affection of 
which he felt the need : that of his own family. 
But hitherto this need had remained unsatisfied. 

^ For a full account of the romance of Louis xiv and Marie 
Mancini, see the author's " Five Fair Sisters " (London, Hutchinson ; 
New York, Putnams, 1906). 

' " The late King (Louis xiv)," wrote Madame, many years 
later, " was undoubtedly very gallant. ... At the age of twenty, 
all sorts and conditions of women found favour in his eyes — 
peasant girls, gardeners' daughters, maid-servants, waiting-women, 
ladies of quahty — provided that they were able to make him 
believe that they loved him." 


The heavy, commonplace Dauphin was certainly 
not the kind of person to inspire affection, and he 
stood far too much in awe of his royal father to 
have any to bestow, though he always displayed 
towards him the most admirable docility. As 
for his legitimated sons and daughters — the Due 
du Maine, the Comte de Toulouse, the Princesse 
de Conti, the Duchesse de Bourbon, and the 
Duchesse de Chartres — their origin and the differ- 
ence of rank constituted a barrier between himself 
and them which the splendid positions to which he 
had elevated them had been powerless to remove. 
In their relations a certain restraint was always 
present, for though the King treated them as his 
children, it was impossible for them to treat him 
as their father. 

Nor, with the exception of the Comte de Tou- 
louse, a quiet, amiable, unassuming youth, who 
in after years served with considerable distinc- 
tion in the Navy, and in August 1704 defeated 
the Anglo-Dutch fleet, under Admiral Rooke, 
off Malaga, did they afford Louis much cause 
for satisfaction. The Due du Maine, a great 
favourite with Madame de Maintenon, who had 
brought him up, which perhaps explains the 
ferocity with which Saint-Simon assails him, was 
an intelligent, well-read, and poHshed young 
man, and particularly assiduous in his attendance 
on the King, but ambitious, intriguing, and 
wanting in personal courage. His pusillanimous 
conduct in Flanders during the campaign of 
1695 had occasioned his father the bitterest 
mortification, and, if we are to believe Saint- 
Simon, was the cause of his Majesty forgetting. 


for almost the only time in his life, his dignity 
in public.'^ 

Of his daughters, the Dowager-Princesse de 
Conti — often called la Grande Princesse de Conti, 
to distinguish her from Marie Therese de Bourbon, 
the wife of the present holder of that title — pos- 
sessed much of the grace and charm of her mother, 
Louise de la Valliere ; indeed, in outward attrac- 
tions, she far surpassed her, and until an attack 
of smallpox, ten years before, spoiled the fresh- 
ness of her complexion, had passed for one of 
the most beautiful women of her time. But she 
was frivolous, coquettish, and spiteful, and had 
lately fallen into sad disgrace with the King, 
through the discovery of certain letters written 
by her, in which his Majesty's relations with 
Madame de Maintenon were turned into ridicule. 

1 " The King, so perfectly composed, so thoroughly master of 
his sUghtest movements, even upon the gravest occasions, was 
overcome by this event. On rising from the table at Marly, he 
perceived a servant, who, while removing the dessert, helped 
himself to a biscuit, which he shpped into his pocket. In a moment 
the King forgot his dignity, and, cane in hand, rushed at this 
servant (who Uttle suspected what was in store for him), struck 
him, rated him soundly, and broke the cane upon his body. In 
truth, it was a very thin one, which snapped easily. However, 
with the stump in his hand, and still muttering abuse of this valet, 
the King walked away, Uke a man beside himself, and entered 
Madame de Maintenon's apartment, where he remained nearly 
an hour. Upon leaving, he met Pfere la Chaise [his confessor], 
' Father,' said the King to him in a loud tone, ' I have chastised 
a knave, and broken my cane upon his back, but I do not think 
I have offended God.' Every one standing near trembled at this 
pubhc confession, and the unfortunate priest murmured some- 
thing that sounded hke approval, in order to avoid irritating the 
King further. The sensation that this affair aroused, and the 
alarmi it inspired, may be conceived. For some time none could 
divine the cause, although every one readily perceived that the 
apparent reason could not be the real one." 


Her half-brother the Dauphin was much attached 
to her, and when he was not hunting or with 
Mile, de Choin, passed most of his time in her 

The Duchesse de Bourbon — or Madame la 
Duchesse, as the Court called her — the elder of 
Louis xiv's two surviving daughters by Madame 
de Montespan, was an exceedingly pretty, accom- 
plished, and charming young woman. If, how- 
ever, she had inherited her mother's beauty, intelli- 
gence, and fascination, she had also her full share 
of that too-celebrated lady's less agreeable qualities, 
being selfish, extravagant, and deceitful, while 
her mordant wit made her universally dreaded. 
"Her wit shines in her eyes," writes Madame; 
" but there is some malignity in them also. I 
always say that she reminds me of a pretty cat 
which, while you play with it, lets you feel its 
claws." Moreover, she was far from an exem- 
plary wife, and infinitely preferred the society 
of the Prince de Conti to that of her liege lord, 
" though this affair was conducted with such 
admirable discretion, that they never gave any 
one any hold over them." ^ 

Her younger sister, the Duchesse de Chartres, 
wife of the future Regent, whose marriage with 
her had caused Madame so much indignation,^ 
was, according to Saint-Simon, a person of con- 
siderable intelligence, " having a natural eloquence, 
a justness of expression, and a fluency and singu- 
larity in the choice of language, which always 

1 Saint-Simon. The chronicler says that Madame la Duchesse 
was " the siren of the poets ; she had all their charms and all 
their perils." 

^ See p. 79 supra. 


astonished one, together with that manner peculiar 
to Madame de Montespan and her sisters, which 
was transmitted to none save those intimate with 
her or those whom she had brought up." How- 
ever, she appears to have been far too indolent 
to employ her intelligence except in conversation, 
and altogether failed either to gain the affection 
of her husband — which is perhaps not surprising, 
if we are to put any faith in Madame' s description 
of her as " a disagreeable person, who gets as drunk 
as a currier three or four times a week " — or to 
give a suitable education to her eldest daughter, 
afterwards the notorious Duchesse de Berry, the 
heroine of some of the worst scandals of the 
Regency. The pride of this princess was " almost 
Satanic," and Duclos tells us that people jocosely 
compared her to Minerva, who, recognising no 
mother, prided herself on being the daughter of 
Jupiter.^ With all her haughtiness, however, she 
was timidity itself in the presence of Louis xiv 
and Madame de Maintenon. " The King," says 
Saint-Simon, " could make her swoon by a single 
severe look, and Madame de Maintenon too, per- 
haps ; at all events, she trembled before her, 
and in public she never replied to them without 
stammering and looking frightened. I say replied, 
since to address the King first was beyond her 
strength." In appearance, Madame de Chartres 
was handsome, though not nearly so attractive as 
her sister or the Princesse de Conti, while Nature 
had endowed her with a figure that was too ample 
for grace. Both she and Madame la Duchesse 
detested their half-sister, who fully reciprocated 

' Mimoires pour servir d, I'Mstoire da Louis xiv. 


their sentiments towards her, and their 
constant bickerings caused the King so much 
annoyance, that one day he summoned the prin- 
cesses before him and warned them that, unless 
they could contrive to compose their differences, 
he would banish all three of them from Court. 
When not united by their common aversion to the 
Princesse de Conti, the two younger ladies quar- 
relled with one another, and we hear of Monsieur 
complaining to the King that Madame la Duchesse 
persisted in addressing his daughter-in-law as 
" Mignonne," which appellation, having regard to 
the generous proportions of the latter, was plainly 
intended to cast ridicule upon her. 

The three princesses delighted in practical 
jokes, and were for ever in some " scrape " or 
other. One night, at Trianon, they procured a 
petard and exploded it beneath the window of 
Monsieur's bedchamber ; while once, when the 
Court was at Marly, the odour of an exceedingly 
pungent tobacco was wafted to the King's nostrils 
as he was on the point of retiring to rest, which, 
on inquiry being made, was found to proceed from 
the apartments of Madame de Chartres, where she 
and her sister were smoking pipes borrowed from 
the Swiss Guards ! 

Thus, his own children offered Louis xiv but 
little of the consolation which most fathers find 
when old age is creeping upon them, and, in spite 
of his devotion to Madame de Maintenon and her 
unwearying efforts to amuse and divert him, there 
were many moments when he must have yearned 
for that more complete relaxation which the affec- 
tion and companionship of -youth affords. 


And now there had come into his hfe a charming, 
high-spirited, lovable, unspoiled child, who, so far 
from being overawed by this great King, before whom 
every one else in France trembled, seemed to regard 
him as a species of grown-up playfellow specially 
created for her benefit ; who " in private clasped 
him round the neck at all hours, jumped upon his 
knees, tormented him with all kinds of playfulness," 
who was always ready to be his companion in his 
daily walk or drive, to charm away his ennui with 
her artless prattle, to make him feel that he was not 
only a monarch, but a man and a grandfather. It 
was indeed a novel and delightful experience for 
one who never in his whole life had been on really 
familiar terms with any human being, not even 
with his mistresses. " The King was enchanted 
by her ways," writes Sourches, " and showed for 
her an astonishing affection, passing whole hours 
with her in his cabinet, or in the Marquise de Main- 
tenon's apartments." 

Louis XIV seemed, indeed, as though he could not 
see enough of the little princess, or show her sufficient 
attention, and almost every day Dangeau notes in 
his Journal, or Govone mentions in his despatches 
to Turin, some fresh instance of the pleasure his 
Majesty is deriving from the society of his pros- 
pective grand-daughter. Let us listen to th? 
Italian : — 

" She [the Princess] continues to enjoy good 
health, and to possess the good graces of the King, 
who visits her regularly twice a day, not ceremoni- 
ously, but from affection, since his attention is 
continuously occupied in procuring her amusements 
suitable to her age, but which exceed all that she 


can dream about. Yesterday the King took her 
to visit all the gardens and fountains, to which I 
had the honour of following them ; and I observed 
with surprise and emotion the kindness of his 
Majesty, who was pleased to permit the young 
Princess to walk by his side on foot, and when he 
perceived that she was tired, to make her enter a 
sedan-chair with him, while he explained every- 
thing to her, and made his observations in the 
affectionate tone of a very loving father. This 
spectacle was for me, a simple spectator, a true 
gourmet's banquet." 

And a week later: — 

" The Princess understands how to attach the 
hearts of his Majesty, Manseigneur, and Madame 
de Maintenon more and more closely to her. . . . 
His Majesty continues to relate to me with tender- 
ness the questions and answers which are exchanged 
between himself and the Princess, and to say how 
rejoiced he is at finding such childish ways joined 
to a fund of good sense." 

And in a third despatch he writes : — 

" The Princess continues to give further and 
stronger proofs of good sense and good conduct, 
in demonstrating the lively affection which she 
feels for his Majesty. Moreover, the affection 
which the King entertains for her grows stronger 
every day. Madame de Maintenon does not cease 
to teU me of the satisfaction of his Majesty, of 
herself, and of the whole Court." ^ 

Here, too, are some extracts from the diary of 
the omniscient Dangeau : — 

1 Govone to the Duke of Savoy, despatches of November 12, 
November 19, and December 3, 1696. 


" November 12. — On leaving the Council, the King 
sent for the Princess ; he has given her masters to 
teach her dancing and to play the harpsichord. 

" November 13. — The King went to dine at 
Marly, and took thither the Princess, with Madame 
de Maintenon, Madame de Chevreuse, and all the 
Princess's ladies. 

" November 15. — The Princess came here [Meu- 
don] to dine with the King, and brought all 
her ladies. After dinner, the King took her into 
the gardens, but their walk did not last long, as the 
weather was very bad. The King told the Princess 
that all the Princesses possessed menageries around 
Versailles, and that he wished to give her a much 
finer one than the others, and accordingly proposed 
to give her the real menagerie, which is the Mena- 
gerie of Versailles.^ 

" November 17. — The King returned early from 
Meudpn, and on his arrival went to see the Princess. 

1 The Menagerie was situated at the extremity of the southern 
arm of the grand canal. All kinds of wild animals and birds were 
kept there : bears, wolves, peUcans, ostriches, gazelles, herons, 
foxes, Uons, and even an elephant. The aviary was the finest in 
France, and there was also an immense pigeon-house, containing 
three thousand pigeons, a poultry-yard, and a farm for cows and 
horses. The little chateau of the Menagerie, originally a hunting- 
pavihon, contained a handsome octagonal salon, surmounted 
by a dome, and hghted by seven windows, in which Louis xiv 
often dined when he visited the Menagerie, and a number of smaller 
rooms, all very tastefully decorated and furnished. There were, 
however, no bedchambers, since the chiteau was intended merely 
as a house in which to give dinner- or supper-parties, and not as a 
residence. The Menagerie soon became a favourite resort of the 
Duchesse de Bourgogne, who came frequently with her ladies to 
partake of a " collation " and spend a few hours there, and after 
1698, when the improvements which the King had caused to be 
carried out at the chiteau for her benefit, had been completed, 
she sometimes entertained his Majesty and other members of the 
Royal Family. 


" November 18. — The King went out shooting and 
returned early. "When he had entered Madame 
de Maintenon's apartment he sent for the Princess, 
and gave her the rest of the Crown jewels, of which 
some had already been taken to her during her 
stay at Fontainebleau. 

" November 21. — The King drove after dinner 
to Marly. He returned at six o'clock, and sent 
immediately for the Princess to come to him in 
Madame de Maintenon's apartments. 

"November 24. — The King went to the chase, 
but the bad weather caused him to return at three 
o'clock. After his unbooting,^ he went to the 
Princess's apartments, where he remained a long 

Since the King's conversion, the Court, once the 
centre of gaiety and pleasure, had become decidedly 
dull, and but for the fact that his Majesty regarded 
it as a sacred duty on the part of his nobility to sun 
themselves in his presence, many of them would 
have certainly preferred the cheerful and unre- 
strained life of Paris, or even the seclusion of their 
country-houses, to the dreary round of aimless 
pomps and ceremonies, varied by attendance at 
the services of the Church, in which they were 
compelled to pass their time. Writing in 1687, 
Madame declares that " the Court was growing 
so dull that people were getting to loathe it, for the 
King imagined that he was pious if he made life 
a bore to other people." Moreover, since de- 

1 The unbooting {dibottS) of the King after hunting was, like 
everything else in his daily life, a more or less solemn function. 
It was alvfays performed by the First Gentleman of the Chamber 
on duty at the time. 


votion — or at least a skilful affectation of it — was 
judged to be the most potent of all passports to 
the royal favour, the amount of hypocrisy which 
prevailed was simply appalling ; "an ordinary 
Sunday had become like an Easter Sunday," and 
people flocked to services as they had done to the 
masquerades and ballets of the pre-devotional days. 
But now it seemed as though the advent of 
this little girl was to bring about a reaction, if not 
to the gaiety of the early part of the reign, at least 
to something resembling that joyous time. For 
the King was sincerely desirous of finding amuse- 
ment for the child who had so speedily captured 
his heart, and " sought every day something new 
to divert her." The visits to Marly and Meudon 
multiplied ; there were hunting-parties at which 
the princess followed the chase in his Majesty's 
" soufflet " ; ^ and when the spring came, picnics 
in the forest of Marly, an invitation to which 
soon came to be regarded as a great honour, and 
excursions in gondolas or barges on the grand 
canal of Versailles,^ which in warm weather were 
often prolonged until the small hours of the 
morning. Sometimes the King took the princess 
to the riding-school of the Grande £curie to watch 
the pages exercising their horses ; at others he 
set her to fish for carp. Nor did he neglect 

^ A light carriage, built to hold two persons, and drawn by 
four swift ponies. In his later years, Louis xiv usually preferred 
to follow the chase in his soufflet to the fatigue which a long day 
on horseback entailed. 

' In 1678, the RepubUc of Venice had presented Louis xiv 
with a magnificent gilded gondola, and his Majesty was so pleased 
with it that he bought several others, and also engaged the services 
of a number of Venetian gondoUers, who were lodged at the head 
of the canal, in the buildings which are still called " Little Venice.'' 


amusements more suitable to her age. He sent 
for a conjurer from Paris — probably the same 
artiste who had given a siance for the benefit of 
the Due de Bourgogne two or three years before, 
and had greatly diverted not only the little 
prince, but his Majesty himself, " who had never 
been known to laugh so heartily," — ordered a 
performance of marionettes, and organised little 
lotteries. On the other hand, the King refused 
to allow the princess to attend the Opera or the 
theatre, to be present at a ball, or to join in any 
game of cards, until she was married, and even 
gave orders that these forbidden pleasures were 
not to be so much as mentioned before her, lest 
she should be seized with a desire to participate 
in them. Such restrictions seem to have been 
regarded with disapproval by many persons, and 
Madame declared that " she pitied the poor child," 
but, having regard to the " poor child's " tender 
years, there can be no doubt that Madame de 
Maintenon, upon whose advice they were, of 
course, imposed, acted judiciously. 



Madame de Maintenon — Widely divergent views in regard 
to her character — The probable truth — Extent of her influence 
considered — Her " hfe of slavery " — Her affection for children — 
She succumbs to the charms of the Princess Adelaide- — Education 
of the princess — Madame de Maintenon and Saint-Cyr — First 
visit of the princess to that institution — She becomes a frequent 
visitor, and shares in the studies and recreations of the pupils — 
Anecdotes of her hfe there— She takes part in a representation of 
Racine's Esther — Madame Maintenon's views on marriage — Her 
advice to the princess in reference to her future husband 

SINCE Madame de Maintenon is destined to 
play a by no means unimportant part in 
the life of the Duchesse de Bourgogne, 
it may be as well for us to say something con- 
cerning her here ; not in regard to her career, 
since her romantic story is sufficiently well known, 
but as to her character and influence. 

During the last half-century, the popular 
conception of Madame de Maintenon, until then 
largely derived from the highly-coloured pages of 
Saint-Simon — who, by the way, had no personal 
knowledge of the woman whom he so rancorously 
assails — has undergone a remarkable change, and, 
in place of the scheming hypocrite who, foreseeing 
that, in her case, religion and virtue were the 
safest cards to play, passed from a youth of secret 
vice to a middle-age of ostentatious piety, and, 
after basely betraying her benefactress, Madame 



de Montespan, contrived to bewitch a superstitious 
monarch into a humiliating subjection to her, 
the unacknowledged wife of Louis xiv is not 
infrequently represented as "a sort of courtly 
Jeanne d'Arc, divinely appointed to convert a 
licentious King from the error of his ways." 

The truth, as we have pointed out in a previous 
work,^ would appear to lie midway between these 
two extremes. Madame de Maintenon deserves 
neither the shameful aspersions of her enemies 
nor the extravagant praises of her friends. Her 
character was a singularly complex one, in which 
the two dominating traits were an intense religious 
conviction and a worldly prudence pushed to the 
verge of unscrupulousness. That she was ever 
guilty of the irregularities of which certain of her 
contemporaries accuse her is in the highest degree 
improbable ; in the first place, because the charge 
rests on very unsatisfactory evidence ; and, in the 
second, because such conduct is entirely alien to 
the character of a woman whom " every trust- 
worthy record proves to have moved in a plane 
that diverged at right angles to the path which 
leads to sins of the flesh," ^ and whose favourite 
maxim was that an irreproachable behaviour is 
also the cleverest in a worldly sense.^ 

On the other hand, to maintain, as her enthusi- 

1 See the author's " Madame de Montespan," from which, by the 
courtesy of Messrs. Harper & Brothers, we have been permitted 
to reproduce several passages. 

^ Cotter Morison, " Madame de Montespan : an Stude." 
' On the supposed irregularities of Madame de Maintenon, see 
our " Madame de Montespan " (p. 86), where the question of her 
relations with the Marquis de ViUarceaux, whom Saint-Simon, 
Madame, and Ninon de I'Enclos assert to have been her lover, is 


astic admirers insist on doing, that her whole 
conduct was dictated by the purest and most 
disinterested motives, that her sole object was 
the salvation of Louis xiv, will not bear the test 
of investigation. That she ardently desired to 
pluck the monarch as a brand from the burning is 
beyond question, but that she was fully alive 
to the material advantages which the post of 
keeper of his Majesty's conscience would confer 
is no less certain. The motives which guided her 
in this matter, as in every action of her life, were 
two, and two which are generally considered to 
be utterly incompatible — worldly advancement and 
eternal salvation. She would seem, in short, to 
have been of opinion that there were exceptions 
to the Scriptural precept concerning the impossi- 
bility of serving two masters, and that she might 
hold to the one without necessarily despising the 

But let it not be supposed that it was worldly 
advancement in any vulgar sense that Madame 
de Maintenon desired. To give her her due, she 
set small store by the things to which other royal 
favourites attached so much importance ; reason- 
able comfort in the present, reasonable security 
for the future, was all she demanded. But she 
loved the praise of men, and especially the praise 
of the godly. It was to her what tabourets and 
pensions and resplendent toilettes and eight-horse 
coaches and royal guards were to the Montespans 
and the Fontanges. And the praise of the godly 
she had indeed received : good measure, pressed 
down, running over. " All good men," writes M. 
Lavallee, " the Pope, the bishops, applauded the 


victory of Madame de Maintenon, and considered 
that she had rendered a signal service to the King 
and to the State." ^ " I am but too much 
extolled {glorifiie)," wrote the lady, with proud 
humility, " for certain good intentions which I 
owe to God." 

When, after the death of the Queen, Louis xiv, 
unwilling to expose the State to the inconveniences 
and dangers which a second family might entail, 
unable to dispense with a wife, and yet sincerely 
desirous of leading a regular life, decided to offer 
his hand to the keeper of his conscience, whose 
age prevented her from having children, and 
whose companionship had already become almost 
a necessity of his existence, her triumph was 
complete. Nor did the King ever have cause to 
regret an action, which, though never publicly 
acknowledged, shocked the prejudices of the great 
majority of his subjects and involved the sacrifice 
of some of his most cherished principles. He 
found in Madame de Maintenon a wife who, if she 
were no longer young, still retained many of the 
" thousand charms " of which MUe de Scudery 
speaks in her portrait of Lyrianne,^ " reminding 
one of those last fair days of autumn, when the 
sun's rays, though no longer dazzling, have none 
the less a penetrating softness," ' — a wife, amiable, 
self-sacrificing, discreet, disinterested, who, notwith- 
standing her narrow views, gave him much good 
counsel, and the value of whose moral support 
during the political and domestic misfortunes which 

' Correspondance g&n^rale de Madame de Maintenon. 
2 Mile, de Scudery, CUlie. 

' Imbert de Saint-Amand, les Femmes de Versailles ; la Cour de 
Louis XIV. 


clouded the last years of his reign can scarcely 
be overestimated. 

The extent of the influence exercised by Madame 
de Maintenon after her marriage with Louis xiv 
has been the subject of almost as much discussion 
as her character, and is by no means easy to deter- 
mine. But we are inclined to think that in affairs 
of State it was really very small — infinitesimally 
small compared with that wielded by Madame de 
Pompadour in the succeeding reign — and that 
the charge so often brought against her of having 
pushed the King to the Revocation of the Edict 
of Nantes, and the persecution which accompanied 
that shameful and disastrous measure, is quite 
unfounded.^ Louis xiv never let the reins of 
government out of his hands for a single moment ; 
and, if he transacted business with his Ministers 
in her apartments, if he sometimes jestingly in- 
quired : " What does your Solidity think about 
this matter ? " he was quick to resent the slightest 
attempt on her Solidity's part to interfere in matters 
which he deemed outside the province of a woman, 
as Madame de Maintenon' s own letters abundantly 
testify. Here, for instance, is one which she wrote, 

1 Madame de Maintenon undoubtedly approved of the Revoca- 
tion itself, but so did practically all the most influential persons 
about the King, Colbert and Vauban alone excepted. The chief 
responsibility for the measure rests with Louvois and his father, 
Michel Le Tellier, and it had been resolved upon long before 
Madame de Maintenon was in a position to exercise much influence. 
Moreover, if she approved of the Revocation, she certainly did 
not approve of the steps taken to give effect to it, and, so far as 
she dared, she strove to obtain some mitigation of the severities 
practised against -the unfortunate Huguenots. " I fear, Madame," 
observed the King to her on one occasion, " that the mildness 
with which you wish the Calvinists to be treated proceeds from 
sojne remaining sympathy with your former religion." 





in September 1698, to Cardinal de Noailles, Arch- 
bishop of Paris : — 

" The King will allow only his Ministers to 
talk to him about business. He was displeased 
because the Nuncio addressed himself to me. 
Make him understand the position once and for 
all, I implore you. I can only give general advice 
on occasions, and have no control over particular 
events, which are seldom spoken of before me. 
I should be well rewarded for the life of slavery 
I lead, if I could do some good. I can only groan, 
Monseigneur, over the turn matters are taking. . . . 
Pray tell the Nuncio that I do not venture to 
interfere in affairs of State, that my views are 
what he does me the honour of believing them to 
be, but that I am compelled to keep them to my- 
self." ^ 

At the same time, if she possessed little or 
no political power, it is beyond question that the 
King made few Court or ecclesiastical appoint- 
ments without consulting her ; that her influence 
in such matters as the distribution of honours, 
and pensions and places was very great indeed, 
and that a word from her was sufficient to make 
or mar the fortune of any courtier. How else 
are we to account for the fact that, as she her- 
self tells us, her apartment was like a crowded 
church, and that Ministers and Marshals and even 
members of the Royal Family were content to 
cool their heels in her ante-chamber until it was 
her good pleasure to receive them ? How else 
for the virulence with which contemporaries like 
Saint-Simon and Madame have assailed her ? 

1 Correspondance genSrale, Letter of September 12, 1698. 


But, despite her astonishing success, Madame 
de Maintenon was far from a happy woman. In 
her letter to the Cardinal de Noailles, she speaks 
of her " life of slavery," and her conversation 
with Madame de Glapion at Saint-Cyr in 1705 
shows that this was no mere figure of speech. There 
was, indeed, scarcely an hour in the day which 
she could call her own. She seldom left her apart- 
ment, save to attend Mass, to drive with the King, 
or to visit Saint-Cyr ; the most of the morning 
and afternoon was occupied in receiving persons 
who came to pay their court to her, in listening to 
the more or less vapid conversation of members of 
the Royal Family, all of whom visited her almost 
daily, and her voluminous correspondence ; while 
the evening hours, which Louis xiv invariably 
passed in her apartments, were the most trying 
of all. 

" When the King returns from the chase, he 
comes to me ; my door is closed, and no one is 
allowed to enter. So I am alone with him, and 
have to listen to his troubles, if he happens to have 
any, and bear with his melancholy and his vapeurs. 
Sometimes he bursts into tears, which he cannot 
control, or else he complains of illness. He has 
no conversation. Then some Minister arrives, 
who is often the bearer of bad news, and the King 
works with him. If they wish me to be a third 
in their consultation, they call me. If not, I 
withdraw to a little distance, and it is then that 
I say my afternoon prayers. . . . 

" While the King is still working, I sup ; but 
it is not once in two months that I can do 
so at my leisure. I know that the King is 
alone, or that I have left him sad, or when M. 


Chamillart ^ has almost jfinished with him, he some- 
times sends and begs me to make haste. Another 
day, he wishes to show me something. In con- 
sequence, I am always hurried, and am forced to 
eat quickly. I have my fruit brought in with the 
meat, in order to save time. 

" After this, as you may suppose, it is late. 
I have been up since six in the morning, and I 
have not had time to breathe freely the whole 
day. I am overcome with fatigue ; I yawn . . . 
and at length I find myself so tired, that I can 
hold out no longer. Sometimes the King perceives 
it, and says : ' You are very tired, are you not ? 
You ought to go to bed.' So I go to bed ; my 
women come and undress me, but I know that the 
King wishes to say something and is waiting till 
they go ; or some Minister is present, and he is 
afraid of being overheard by my women. That 
makes him ill at ease, and myself also. What 
can I do ? I hurry, and to such an extent that 
I am almost faint ; and you must know that all 
my life I have hated being hurried. . . . Well, 
at last I am in bed ; I dismiss my women ; the 
King approaches and sits down by my pillow. 
Although I am in bed, there are many things 
I require, since mine is not a glorified body with- 
out wants. But there is no one present whom 
I can ask for what I need ; not one of my women. 
It is not because I could not have them ; for 
the King is kindness itself, and, if he thought that 
I required one woman, he would put up with ten. 
But he never realises that I am uncomfortable. 
Since he is his own master ever5Avhere, and does 
precisely what he pleases, he cannot imagine 
that any one should do otherwise, and beUeves 
that, if I ask for nothing, I require nothing. He 

1 Michel de Chamillart, Comptroller - General of Finance and 
Minister of War. 


remains with me till he goes to supper. At ten 
or a quarter-past every one leaves me, and I take 
the relief of which I am in need ; but frequently 
the anxieties and fatigues I have endured during 
the day prevent me from sleeping." 

Her lot would undoubtedly have been easier 
to bear if she had had any love for the man to 
whom she had dedicated her life. But, though 
she entertained for Louis xiv veneration, gratitude, 
and devotion, she did not love him. Nor is this 
difficult to understand. " Women," observes one 
of her biographers, " are seldom enamoured of 
the men to whom they owe their fortune. In 
general, they prefer to protect than to be pro- 
tected. They find it sweeter to inspire gratitude 
than to experience it. What they like best of 
all, is to show their superiority, and precisely 
because their sex seems to be condemned by 
Nature to a position of dependence, they are happy 
when the roles are inverted, when it is they who 
dominate, protect, oblige. Madame de Maintenon 
was too much indebted to Louis xiv to be in love 
with him." ^ 

But, since she was a woman, and, moreover, a 
woman of sensibility, she must needs bestow 
her affection somewhere, and it was on children 
that she lavished it. " She was always devoted 
to children," writes her secretary and confidante. 
Mile. d'Aumale, " and liked to see them behave 
naturally," and children so well understood this 
goodness that " they were more at their ease with 
her than with any one." Having no children of 

1 Imbert de Saint-Amand, les Femmes de Versailles : la Cour 
de Louis xiv. 


her own, she was compelled to seek satisfaction 
for her maternal sentiments in devoting herself 
to those of other people. The first objects of 
her solicitude were the adulterine offspring of 
Louis XIV and Madame de Montespan, partic- 
ularly the Due du Maine, who probably owed his 
life to her devoted care, and for whom she always 
retained the deepest affection. Then, when they 
had passed out of her hands, certain of the de- 
moiselles of Saint-Cyr became very near to her 
heart, among whom may be mentioned Madame 
de Glapion, the recipient of the confidence we 
have just cited. Mile. d'Aumale, and a Mile, de 
Pincre, to whom she was so much attached that 
she permitted her to address her as " maman." 
Finally, the little Princess of Savoy appeared upon 
the scene, before whose charms she succumbed 
almost as easily as had the King. 

The success of the princess in conquering the 
good graces of Madame de Maintenon was un- 
doubtedly facilitated by the deference which, 
from the very first, she was careful to pay that 
lady, and the docility with which she listened to 
her counsels. "I do what you order me about 
Madame de Maintenon," she writes to Madame 
Roy ale. " I have much affection for her, and con- 
fidence in her advice. Believe, my dear grand- 
mother, all that she writes to you about me, 
though I do not deserve it ; but I should like you 
to have that pleasure, for I count on your affection, 
and I never forget all the proofs that you have 
given me of it." 

The girl solved very happily the somewhat 
delicate question of how she was to address Madame 


de Maintenon by calling her " ma tante," com- 
bining thus prettily, observes Saint-Simon, rank 
and friendship. According to Languet de Gergy, 
she was merely following the example of the lady's 
niece. Mile. d'Aubigne, — daughter of Madame de 
Maintenon's dissipated brother, Charles — who 
naturally addressed her thus.^ But the Contessa 
della Rocca points out " that the Piedmontese 
equivalent ' magna ' was in common use in families 
to denote women whose age, position, degree of 
relation, or friendship entitled them to a certain 
superiority, and that the princess no doubt im- 
ported the custom from her own country." " 

Madame de Maintenon quickly perceived that 
the task of completing the education of her charge 
would be no sinecure ; since, from a scholastic 
point of view, it could scarcely be said to have 
begun. The girl was surprisingly ignorant, and, 
though she began by giving her professors of 
music and dancing, she soon decided that a writing- 
master was a more immediate necessity. However, 
though the princess really seems to have taken 
pains, and assures her grandmother, some months 
after her marriage, that she was sensible of " the 
disgrace of a married woman [setat 13] having a 
master for so common a thing," ^ writing and ortho- 
graphy were, as we have already mentioned, obstacles 
which, to the end of her days, she never succeeded 
in more than partially overcoming.* 

^ Mimoires pour servir d I'histoire de la fondation de la maison 
de Saint-Cyy et de Madame de Maintenon, cited by M. d'Haussonville. 

^ Contessa della Rocca, Conespondance inedite de la Duchesse de 
Bourgogne et la Reine d'Espagne. 

' The Duchesse de Bourgogne to Madame Royale, May 26, 1698, 
in Gagnifere. * See p. 37 supra. 


Madame de Maintenon was much exercised in 
her mind to find that the ignorance of the Uttle 
princess extended to history, a subject which, 
in those days, played an important part in the 
curriculum of all royal personages. To remedy 
this omission, she had recourse to the good offices 
of Dangeau, whom she persuaded to give her High- 
ness lessons in Roman History — recommending 
for that purpose the Histoire de I' Empire romain 
of Nicolas Coeffeteau, " because the chapters are 
short, and our princess does not care for what is 
long." 1 In another letter, she begs Dangeau to 
endeavour to cure the princess of a little mocking 
laugh to which she was addicted, and advises him 
to read her a certain conversation on the subject 
of raillery which she herself had composed for the 
benefit of the young ladies of Saint-Cyr. It would 
be interesting to know how this versatile personage 
acquitted himself in his new role, but unfortunately 
his modesty prevents him from enlightening us. 

In the eyes of Madame de Maintenon, the 
moral and religious training of the princess was 
naturally of far greater importance than the 
purely intellectual. This she had the satisfaction 
of finding had been as efficient as the other had 
been the reverse, and that the moment the child 
was assured that anything she proposed doing was 
" sinful," she invariably replied : " If it is sinful, 
I will not do it." However, since her charge was 
now at an age when the mind is peculiarly suscep- 
tible to new impressions, and the younger ladies 
of the Royal Family certainly did not share her 
horror of sin, Madame de Maintenon decided to 

1 Correspondance'genirale, Letter of June 21, 1697. 


remove her as far as possible from the sphere of 
their influence, and, as we have mentioned, to 
place a veto on certain pleasures which she held 
to be highly undesirable for one so young. 

At the same time, with her usual sagacity in 
dealing with young girls, she encouraged such 
amusements as might be safely indulged in, and, 
recognising that the child naturally required the 
companionship of those nearer her own age than 
the ladies of her Household, resolved that she 
should spend as much time as possible at Saint- 

A few words concerning this celebrated insti- 
tution may not be out of place. 

The idea of rendering assistance to poor girls of 
gentle birth, and protecting them from the dangers 
through which she herself had passed, was one 
which Madame de Maintenon had long cherished, 
and for some years before her marriage to Louis 
XIV she had maintained, first at Rueil, and after- 
wards at Noisy, an institution in which a number 
of the daughters of the petite noblesse were educated 
in a " Christian, reasonable, and noble " manner. 
Lack of funds, however, naturally prevented her 
from accepting more than a small proportion of the 
candidates who presented themselves for admis- 
sion, or from giving those whom she selected all 
the advantages which she wished them to enjoy. 
But in 1684 — the year of her marriage — she per- 
suaded the King to perfect the undertaking, and 
to build and endow for the benefit of her protegies 
a house at Saint-Cyr, where her benevolent designs 
might have full scope. 

This house, constructed from designs by 


Mansart, at a cost of 1,200,000 livres, was com- 
pleted by July 1686, when the school was trans- 
ferred thither, and contained accommodation for 
some two hundred and fifty pupils ^ and their 
mistresses. The latter, who were caUed "dames 
de Saint-Louis," were nuns, and were recruited, 
as occasion arose, by postulants selected from 
among the elder scholars. The first Superior was 
Madame de Brinon, a member of the Ursuline 

Although the mistresses of Saint-Cyr ^vere 
under vows, and Madame de Maintenon lent a 
sympathetic ear to the appeal of any demoiselle 
who felt that religion was her vocation, the aim 
of Saint-Cyr was not to manufacture nuns, but " to 
bring the girls up piously to the duties of their 
condition," that is to say, to people the chateaux 
and manor-houses of provincial France with a 
race of high-principled, practical young women, 
who would make excellent wives and mothers, 
and who would not disdain " to see that the cattle, 
the turkeys, and the fowls were properly tended, 
and occasionally to lend a hand themselves." 
Indeed, during the first few years of Saint-Cyr' s 
existence, the education given there seems to have 
been conducted on sound and judicious lines, and 
the results to have been eminently satisfactory 
from every point of view. 

However, after the remarkable success which 

1 The pupils were divided, according to their age, into four 
classes, named after the colour of the ribbons which they wore 
to distinguish them. The Red Class contained the youngest 
girls, from seven to eleven years of age ; the Green Class, those 
fromi eleven to fourteen ; the Yellow Class, those from fourteen to 
seventeen ; and the Blue Class, those from seventeen to twenty. 


attended the pupils' representations of Racine's 
Esther before the King and the Court, which led 
to several of the damsels being asked in marriage, 
Madame de Maintenon learned, to her profound con- 
sternation, that a spirit of worldliness and frivolity 
— nay even of coqtietry — was gaining ground 
among her proUg&es ; that some of them declined 
to sing Latin chants in church, from fear of in- 
juring their pronunciation, and that they were 
" becoming more proud and haughty than would 
be seemly in great princesses." She therefore 
decided that she had been " building on sand," 
and that the harm which had been done could 
only be repaired by a complete change in the 
system of education. From that time, the regu- 
lations to which the girls were subjected became 
much more severe, and, from fear of corrupting 
the heart, much that might have served to enlarge 
the mind was banished from the curriculum. The 
result of thus permitting her scruples to get the 
better of the sound judgment which she had 
hitherto shown was fatal to the best interests 
of the institution, and the remark made by Louis 
XV, more than half a century later, that Saint- 
Cyr produced nothing but prudes, was probably 
not without justification, though perhaps le Bien- 
Aime can scarcely be regarded as an impartial 

Saint-Cyr was the pride and joy of Madame 
de Maintenon' s life ; she regarded it as her work, 
her creation, her own domain, wherein she had 
at last succeeded in producing the perfect ideal 
that she cherished, and her devotion to it amounted 
to a positive passion. " Sanctify your house," said 


she to the dames de Saint-Louis, " and through 
your house the whole kingdom. I would shed 
my blood to be able to communicate the education 
of Saint-Cyr to all religious houses which educate 
young girls. In comparison with Saint-Cyr, every- 
thing else is foreign to me, and my nearest re- 
latives are less dear to me than the least of the 
good daughters of the community." When- 
ever she could escape for a few hours from the 
tedium of the Court, she repaired to this beloved 
retreat for rest and consolation. " When I see 
the door closing behind me as I enter here," she 
once observed to Madame de Glapion, " I am full 
of joy, and I never depart without pain. Often 
on returning to Versailles, I think : ' This is the 
world, and apparently the world for which Jesus 
Christ would not pray on the eve of His death. . . . 
Here all the passions are in action : self-interest, 
ambition, envy, pleasure.' I confess to you that 
this reflection inspires me with a sense of sadness 
and horror for that place where, nevertheless, 
I have to live." 

However, as one of her most profound ad- 
mirers is fain to admit, it was not religion alone 
which made her prefer the convent to the palace. 
" At Versailles, she is constrained, incommoded ; 
she obeys. At Saint-Cyr, she is free, she com- 
mands, she governs. ... At Versailles, she poss- 
ibly regrets the crown and the ermine mantle 
which are lacking to her. At Saint-Cyr, she has 
no need of them, for there her sovereignty is un- 
disputed. Her lightest words are accepted as 
oracles. Her letters, read in the presence of the 
whole community, evoke universal admiration. 


The inmates to whom they are addressed boast 
of them as titles of glory. Madame de Maintenon 
is almost the Queen of France. She is absolutely 
Queen of Saint-Cyr." ^ 

About a fortnight after the Princess Adelaide's 
arrival at Versailles — to be exact, on November 
25, 1696 — Madame de Maintenon took her to Saint- 
Cyr for the first time, where her visit naturally 
aroused the liveliest interest. She had decided 
that, on this occasion, the princess was to be re- 
ceived with all the honours due to her rank, and 
the whole community, in long cloaks, met her 
at the door of the cloister, where the Superior, 
Madame du Peyrou, bade her welcome in a com- 
plimentary speech. AU the demoiselles were 
drawn up in a double line, through which she 
was escorted to the church, and afterwards shown 
over the refectory, the dormitories, the class-rooms, 
and the rest of the establishment. The reception 
concluded with a dialogue, recited by the pupils, 
which had been composed for the occasion by one of 
the dames, and " was seasoned with delicate praise." " 

The princess was delighted at all she saw, and 
on her return to Versailles went to find the King, 
to tell him how much she had enjoyed herself. 
She was eager to return, and, as Madame de Main- 
tenon was only too pleased to gratify her wish, 
she soon became a kind of habituSe of Saint-Cyr, 
and went there at least once a week. Sometimes 
she accompanied Madame de Maintenon on her 
afternoon visits, but more often she went early 

1 Imbert de Saint- Amand, les Femmes de Versailles : la Cour 
de Louis xiv. 

' Lavallee, Histoire de la maison toy ale de Saint-Cyr. 


in the morning and remained all day, sharing 
the lessons, meals, and recreations of the pupils. 
On these occasions, she was treated without cere- 
mony, though always with respect, wore the 
ordinary dress of the school, and answered to 
the name of Mile, de Lastic, which was that of a 
pupil who had recently left." 

The MSmoires of the dames of Saint-Cyr 
furnish us with some interesting and amusing 
details concerning the visits of the princess : 

" She was good, affable, gracious to everybody, 
interesting herself in the different duties of the 
dames, and in all the occupations and studies of 
the demoiselles ; subjecting herself readily to all 
the regulations of the establishment, even to 
silence ; running and playing with the " Reds " 
in the long alleys of the garden ; going with them 
to choir, confession, and catechism; appearing 
also at the novitiate and following its austere 
exercises, and even at the assembhes of the Chapter, 
in order that she might learn to take interest 
in the community." 

Although the princess's age entitled her to 
join the Green Class, which, as we have said, was 
composed of girls from eleven to fourteen years of 
age, her education had been so neglected that 
it was found necessary to place her among the 
" Reds," whose instruction was Hmited to the 
" three R's," the elements of grammar, a little 
Scriptural History, and the Catechism. Since it 
was the custom to test each pupil's knowledge 
of the Catechism in the presence of her class- 
mates, and great importance was attached to 
proficiency therein, the dames always took 


the precaution of warning the princess of the 
questions which were to be put to her, in order 
that she might learn the answers by heart and 
fire the rest with a spirit of emulation. 

Among her Highness' s favourite companions, 
was Madame de Maintenon's niece, MUe. d' 
Aubigne, already mentioned. Notwithstanding 
their affection for each other, however, quarrels 
between them appear to have been of not in- 
frequent occurrence, and sometimes they even 
came to blows. On one such occasion^ it hap- 
pened that the affray was interrupted by the 
arrival of a message from Pere Lecomte, the 
princess's confessor, who had sent to remind the 
young lady that it was her day for confession, and 
that he was awaiting her convenience. " Oh ! " 
cried MUe. d' Aubigne, with a malicious smile, " how 
my conscience would prick if it were I who had 
been sent for to go to confession ! " 

Apropos of confession at Saint-Cyr, Madame de 
Caylus relates an amusing anecdote, which shows 
that the austere atmosphere of that establish- 
ment was sometimes powerless to quell the mis- 
chievous spirit of childhood. One afternoon, when 
the princess came there in the company of Madame 
de Maintenon, she found that a general confession 
was in progress, and accordingly went into the 
confessional and knelt down, but without sa5dng 
who she was. Now, on this occasion, she was 
not wearing the simple uniform of the inmates, 
but the costly gown in which she had come from 
Versailles ; and the worthy priest, hearing the 
rustle of silk, and concluding that his penitent 
was some fashionable sinner from the Court, who 


preferred not to reveal her identity, proceeded 
to administer such admonition as he considered 
needful. The princess, choking with suppressed 
merriment, heard him to the end, and then ran 
off to find Madame de Maintenon. " Ma tante," 
cried she, " I am enchanted with that confessor ; 
he told me that I was worse than Magdalene ! " 

Although the alarming consequences which had 
followed the representations of Esther and the 
invasion of the profane had determined Madame 
de Maintenon never again, under any circum- 
stances, to leave the door of her dovecot ajar, she 
stUl permitted the two plays which Racine had 
written at her request ^ to be performed occasionally 
at Saint-Cyr, on the understanding that every one 
not connected with the estabUshment should be 
rigorously excluded.* Thus, on January 30, 1697, 

1 The second play was Aihalie, which was played before the 
King and five or six persons whom he had brought with him. 
This was the last occasion on which profane society was admitted 
to a theatrical performance at Saint-C}^:. 

" Her instructions to the dames on this point were very expUcit : 
"Confine these amusements to your institution, and do not give 
them publicity under any pretext whatsoever. It wiU always 
be dangerous to permit men to see weU-made young girls, who 
increase the attractions of their persons by playing their parts 
well. Suffer, then, no man to be present, rich or poor, young or old, 
priest or layman ; no, nor even a saint, if there be such a thing 
on earth " — ^LavaUee, Histoire de la maison royale de Saint-Cyr. 

Madame de Maintenon, we may here observe, always seems to 
have entertained a poor opinion of the opposite sex, and, as 
she grew older, to have regarded the most of those who composed 
it as so many roaring Uons seeking whom they might devour. 
" Flee from men," she told the demoiselles, " as from your mortal 
enemies. Never be alone with them. Take no pleasure in hearing 
that you are pretty, amiable, or have a fine voice. The world is 
a mahgnant deceiver, which seldom means what it says ; and the 
majority of men who say these things to girls do it in the hope 
of finding some means of ruining them." 


a representation of Esther was given, and the 
Princess Adelaide coaxed Madame de Maintenon 
into giving her consent to her appearing in it. As, 
however, she was of course too young to fill any of 
the leading parts, she had to content herself with 
a very minor role — that of " une jeune Israelite." ^ 
Nevertheless, the pleasure she derived from having 
taken part in a representation of " that adorable 
play" — as Saint-Beuve rightly terms Racine's 
masterpiece — no doubt sufficed to make the day 
a memorable one in her life. 

Madame de Maintenon, of course, did not neglect 
to give her charge frequent counsels as to her 
conduct when she became Duchesse de Bourgogne, 
and particularly in regard to her relations with 
her future husband. Entertaining as she did so 
poor an opinion of men, her attitude towards 
matrimony was naturally pessimistic, and, indeed, 
she appears to have regarded it as a kind of neces- 
sary evil. Thus, while deprecating the disin- 
clination of certain of the dames de Saint-Louis to 
speak to their pupils upon the subject as " false 
delicacy," she impressed upon them the duty of 
fortifying the girls' minds against any illusions 
which they might be inclined to harbour, and 
representing marriage as a condition in which 
loyalty to her husband's interests, " a sincere and 
discreet zeal for his salvation," the management of 
her servants, economy in her household, and the care 
and education of her children, must be a woman's 
paramount considerations ; while love, companion- 
ship, and sympathy were of altogether secondary 
importance ; in a word, as one of ceaseless and 

1 Dangeau. 


arduous responsibility, with few, if any, compensat- 
ing advantages. " When once they are married," 
she writes, " they will discover that it is no laughing 
matter. You must accustom them to speak of it 
seriously, and even sadly, for I think that it is the 
state in which one experiences the most tribulations, 
even in the most favourable circtunstances." And 
in her instructions to the girls themselves, she 
observes : " There is no novitiate to prepare you 
for marriage. It is difficult to foresee how far a 
husband may carry his authority. One finds few 
good ones ; in truth, I have only known two, and 
were I to say only one, I should not be exaggerating." 
Such counsels were scarcely calculated to inspire 
her -protigies with any consuming desire to enter 
the Holy Estate, and it is not altogether surprising 
to learn that many of them preferred to become 
the brides of Heaven, rather than those of His 
Majesty's lieges. Nor was the advice which she 
gave the Princess Adelaide, " in reference to 
Monsieur her husband," though certainly judicious, 
particularly exhilarating. For instance, she teUs 
her that she must not expect perfect happiness; 
that she must not expect her husband to love her 
as much as she loved him, " since men, as a general 
rule, are less affectionate than women," and that 
she must pray to God that she might not be jealous. 
If, however, her husband was so iU-advised as to 
give her cause for that, then she must not seek to 
win him back by complaints and reproaches, but 
by sweetness and patience. " But I hope," she 
adds, " that the Due de Bourgogne will not subject 
you to such trials." 


Sentiments of the Due de Bourgogne in regard to the Princess 
Adelaide — Fenelon and Madame Guyon — Fenelon appointed 
Archbishop of Cambrai — The conference at Issy — The Maximes 
des Saints — Indignation of Louis xiv — Disgrace of Fenelon — 
Preparation for the marriage of the Due de Bourgogne and the 
Princess Adelaide — Ruinous rivalry between the courtiers in the 
matter of dress — Completion of the future Duchesse de Bourgogne's 
Household — The marriage — The wedding-night — The ball of De- 
cember II, 1697 

MADAME DE MAINTENON would perhaps 
have been more optimistic in regard to the 
matrimonial future of the Princess Adelaide, 
if she had been aware of the sentiments of the 
Due de Bourgogne towards that young lady. 
Although the prince was only permitted to see his 
bride-elect once a week, and always under the 
Argus-eye of the Duchesse du Lude, he had soon 
conceived for her a warm interest and affection, 
which was ere long to ripen into a passionate 
devotion ; and, a few days after the princess's 
arrival at Versailles, we find Govone writing to the 
Duke of Savoy : — 

" I was present yesterday at the conversation 
which the princess had for half an hour with the 
Due de Bourgogne, which is fixed regularly for each 
Saturday, in order to inspire him with a desire to 
return to her. From the outset the young couple 

began to converse familiarly, and concluded more 



sadly, when they perceived that the moment when 
they must separate was at hand." ^ 

It was well for the Due de Bourgogne that he 
was able to contemplate his approaching marriage 
with such satisfaction, since it was to be preceded 
by one of the greatest trials of his life : in the 
summer of 1697, his beloved tutor Fenelon, to 
whom he owed so incalculable a debt, fell into 
disgrace, and was banished from Court. 

Shortly before his nomination as preceptor to the 
Due de Bourgogne, Fenelon had made the acquaint- 
ance of that singular illuminee, Madame Guyon, 
authoress of le Moyen court et facile de faire 
Voraison, V Exposition du C antique des C antiques, and 
several other mystical works, in which she expounded 
her views concerning the inner life. Although not 
a professed follower of Molinos, Madame Guyon 
favoured his doctrines at least to the extent of 
maintaining that, in the state of perfect con- 
templation of God, the soul resigns itself so entirely 
to the divine wiU, and the love of God is so purified 
from all personal considerations, that it cares not 
whether it be damned or saved ; and there can be 
no doubt that, from the orthodox point of view, 
her teaching was distinctly dangerous. 

With this lady, who joined to her intellectual 
attainments a great personal charm, Fenelon eventu- 
ally formed a " lien d'dme," ^ and, under her influence, 

1 Despatch of November 16, 1696, published by Gagni^re. 

^ " II me semble," says Madame Guyon, in her autobiography, 
"qiie mon S,me a un rapport entier avec la sienne, et ces paroles 
de David pour Jonaihas : que son ^me itoit colUe h celle de David, me 
paroissoient propris a cette union." In the theological war which 
subsequently arose, some of Fenelon's enemies did not hesitate 


began to develop " a taste for refined and subtle 
piety suited only for choice souls," ^ and to com- 
pose little mystical treatises of his own. These 
were freely circulated at Saint-Cyr, to which, on 
Fenelon's recommendation of her as a " prodigy 
of saintliness," Madame de Maintenon had granted 
Madame Guyon free access, and, amid such con- 
genial surroundings, the new mysticism made rapid 

In 1694, Madame de Maintenon' s confessor, 
Godet des Marais, Bishop of Chartres, who had 
become diredeur of Saint-Cyr, growing alarmed at 
the disturbing influence which Madame Guyon' s 
doctrines were exercising upon his flock, subjected 
her works to a searohing examination, and, having 
found them " full of dangerous errors and suspicious 
novelties," intimated to the lady that her visits 
to Saint-Cyr would no longer be tolerated, and 
persuaded Madame de Maintenon to cease all 
relations with her. 

Fenelon, without abjuring the opinions which 
he held in common with Madame Guyon, recom- 
mended her to submit her writings to a commission 
composed of Bossuet, Louis de Noailles, Bishop of 
Chalons, who soon afterwards became Archbishop 
of Paris, and Tronson, his old tutor at Saint-Sulpice, 
and promised that he himself would abide by its de- 
cision ; indeed, his conduct at this stage of the affair 
was marked by such prudence and moderation, that 

to assert that there was something more than spiritual sympathy 
between him and the lady, and Pfere de la Rue, an anti-Quietist 
Jesuit and a friend of Bossuet, compared them in the pulpit to 
Abelard and Heloi'se ; but for such a charge there does not appear 
to have been the smallest justification. 
1 Sainte-Beuve. 


most persons regarded him merely as the victim 
of the errors or indiscretions of his friend. 

Nevertheless, his appointment in February 
1695, at Madame de Maintenon's suggestion, to 
the vacant archbishopric of Cambrai, was pro- 
bably dictated as much by a desire to remove him 
to a distance from the Court as by the wish to find 
a suitable reward for the great services he had 
rendered in the education of the Due de Bour- 
gogne ; and it was undoubtedly a sore disappoint- 
ment to his disciples, who had confidently antici- 
pated that when Harlay de Chanvallon, the aged 
Archbishop of Paris, died, Fenelon would step into 
his shoes. 

Louis XIV, who does not appear as yet to have 
had any suspicion how deeply his grandson's pre- 
ceptor was compromised by the conduct of Madame 
Guyon — Madame de Maintenon, aware that she 
was herself to blame for having permitted that lady's 
doctrines to take root at Saint-Cyr, was naturally 
anxious to hush the matter up — ^would have been 
willing to release the new prelate from the obli- 
gation of residing in his diocese until the education 
of the Due de Bourgogne and his brothers was 
finished. But Fenelon, feeling the impossibility of 
reconciling such neglect of his episcopal duties 
with his conscience, declined his Majesty's offer, and 
announced his intention of residing at Cambrai for 
the full nine months prescribed by the Council of 
Trent, and devoting the remainder of the year to 
his pupils. 

In the following August, he left the Court to 
take up his duties at Cambrai, but, even while ab- 
sent, he continued to direct the studies of the young 


princes, his instructions on every point being 
faithfully followed by Beauvilliers and the sous- 
pr^cepteur, the Abbe de Fleury. However, as 
matters fell out, this temporary separation from 
the Due de Bourgogne was but the prelude to a 
complete severance between tutor and pupil. 

After his nomination to the see of Cambrai, 
Fenelon had taken part in the conference of divines 
which met at Issy, nominally to examine the works 
of Madame Guyon, but really for the purpose of a 
general investigation of the new spirituality. 

The report drawn up by this commission was 
of such a nature that he at first refused to sub- 
scribe to it ; but, after it had been amended so as 
to meet his objections to some extent, he signed, 
though with great reluctance. 

But Fenelon felt that the matter could not be 
permitted to rest here. Bossuet was pursuing the 
unfortunate Madame Guyon with an intemperate 
zeal which could not but be repugnant to one who 
entertained for her the greatest sympathy and 
respect ; and he ascertained that he was contem- 
plating a work whereby he intended to inflict the 
coup de grdce upon her already discredited effu- 

Partly from a chivalrous desire to defend his 
friend, and partly from a belief that her complete 
discomfiture might involve his own discredit, and 
ruin all hope of his ever realising the political 
ambitions which he had so long cherished, he 
determined to constitute himself her champion, 
and to anticipate the attack of Bossuet by a 
treatise in her defence. 

This work — the famous Maximes des Saints 


sur la vie inUrieure, published in February 1697 — 
and Bossuet's trenchant reply in his Instruction 
sur les Hats d'oraison, fanned the dying embers 
of the Guyon affair into a furious blaze, which 
speedily consumed the remains of Fenelon's favour 
in high circles. Louis xiv, although his ignorance 
of theological subtleties would have moved any 
junior student at Saint-Sulpice to irreverent 
mirth,^ had always piqued himself upon his ortho- 
doxy, and having put down Jansenism with a 
ruthless hand, he was not disposed to show him- 
self more complaisant towards Quietism. Accord- 
ingly, at the end of July, he wrote to Innocent iii 
to denounce the Maximes des Saints as a " very 
bad and dangerous book," and, a week later, 
without waiting for the Pope's decision, sent 
orders to Fenelon, who was then at Versailles, 
to retire to his diocese and to remain there. If 
we are to believe Proyart, the Due de Bourgogne, 
who had an audience of the King that same day, 
threw himself at his Majesty's feet and implored 
him not to separate him from the man whom he 
had come to regard almost as a father. To which 
his Majesty replied that no other course was 
possible, since it was " a question of the purity 
of the Faith," adding : " Monsieur de Meaux 
[Bossuet] knows more about this matter than 
either you or I." 

Although the disgrace of Fenelon was followed 

1 Saint-Simon asserts that, in religious matters, he was as 
" ignorant as a child," while Madame declares that " it was 
impossible for a man to be more ignorant of religion than the 
King was." They probably exaggerate, but there can be no 
doubt that, for " the eldest son of the Church," Louis xiv's know- 
ledge of theology was deplorably deficient. 


by the dismissal of nearly all the officers of the 
Due de Bourgogne's Household who had enjoyed 
his confidence, Beauvilliers retained his post, and, 
through the medium of the gouverneur' s brother- 
in-law, the Due de Chevreuse, a devoted admirer 
of the exiled archbishop, the latter still continued, 
to some extent, to direct the life and studies of his 
former piipil. As for that prince, though for 
several years he strictly obeyed the orders of the 
King, whose wishes he held to be " an emanation 
of the divine will," to hold no communication with 
Fenelon, time and absence, as we shall see here- 
after, seem only to have strengthened the affection 
and esteem which he entertained for him. 

That but for the unauthorised publication of 
Telemaque,^ under the allegorical disguise of which 
Louis XIV, notwithstanding the author's denials, 
persisted in recognising a satire against his own 
principles of government, it is probable that the 
King, despite his zeal for the " purity of the Faith," 
might have been ultimately induced to pardon 
Fenelon. But the appearance of that work effectu- 
ally destroyed all hopes of the archbishop regaining 
the royal favour, and he remained in disgrace for 
the rest of his life. 

It will be remembered that the marriage- 
contract of the Princess Adelaide and the Due de 
Bourgogne, signed at Turin on September 15, 
1696, stipulated that their union should take place 
so soon as the princess had completed her twelfth 
year, although it was, of course, understood that 
for some time after its celebration the marriage 

' Vie du Dauphin, p&re de Louis xy. 


would be one in name only. Louis xiv, delighted 
to find in his future grand-daughter an intelligence 
and self-possession beyond her years, and impatient 
for her to take her place in the ceremonies and 
pleasures of the Court, had, on the morrow of her 
arrival in France, announced his intention of 
marrying her the very day after she was twelve 
years old, that is to say, on December 7, 1697 ; 
and, in point of fact, the auspicious event was 
finally fixed for that date.i 

For fully two months previously nothing was 
heard of at Versailles but the approaching 
marriage, the preparations for which were marked 
by a lavishness altogether unprecedented, even 
in the annals of that prodigal Court. The King, 
having been injudicious enough to express one 
evening a hope that the balls which were to follow 
the marriage would be brilliant affairs, every one 
appeared to consider it a point of honour to eclipse 
his or her neighbour, and " there was no longer any 
question of consulting either one's purse or one's 
rank." ^ The gazettes — for let it not be imagined 
that the sartorial expert is the exclusive product 
of modern journalism — were fuU of eloquent de- 
scriptions of the ravishing confections which were 
to be worn by this or that noble dame ; the cou- 
turihes of the Rue Saint-Honore and the Rue de 
Richelieu laboured day and night, and did not 

' But we learn, from the despatches of Ferrero to the Duke 
of Savoy, that the loth had been the date originally decided upon, 
and that it was changed to the 7 th, because, since that day fell 
upon a Saturday, the Parisians would thus have two days for 

* Saint-Simon. The chronicler tells us that his own and his 
wife's habiliments cost 20,000 livres. 


forget to raise their prices, to an extent which, in 
ordinary times, would have been considered pre- 
posterous, but were now accepted without protest ; 
the jewellers' shops on the Quai des Orfevres were 
besieged by persons in quest of costly gems where- 
with to enhance the splendour of their apparel ; 
and so great was the demand for coiffeurs that 
twenty louis were readily offered for the services 
of one of these artists for a single hour on the day 
of the marriage. Not a few of those who partici- 
pated in this insane rivalry saw ruin staring them 
in the face, but, since to a courtier of Louis xiv 
a financial dibdcle was always preferable to 
social extinction, it is doubtful if this had the 
effect of curtailing their outlay by so much as 
a sol. 

Although most of the chief offices of the future 
Duchesse de Bourgogne's Household had been fiUed 
prior to her arrival in France, several important 
posts still remained to be allotted, among which 
were those of first almoner, first maUre d'hdtel, 
secretary, surintendant, physician, and surgeon. 
The services of Bossuet in exposing the fallacies 
of the Maximes des Saints were recognised by his 
nomination to the office of first almoner — an 
appointment which, as may be supposed, was 
viewed with anything but a favourable eye by the 
Due de Bourgogne; but the other charges were 
put up for sale, and realised sums which, in view 
of the heavy expenditure which the marriage 
entailed, must have been very welcome to the 
Treasury, the Marquis de VUlacerf paying no less 
than 300,000 livres for the honour of supervising 
the princess's cuisine. Many of the minor posts 


were disposed of in the same manner, but the King 
reserved a certain number of these for persons who 
had been in the service of the late Dauphine, to 
compensate them for the pecuniary loss they had 
suffered through the premature death of their 
mistress. Nothing was neglected to make the 
entourage of the princess in every way worthy 
of a future Queen of France. Her Household, 
including the staff of her stables, numbered at 
least five hundred persons ; her plate, her linen, 
and all the appointments of her table were of the 
most costly description ; her liveries, resplendent 
with gold and silver lace ; her carriages, hardly 
inferior to those of the King ; while Tesse, in his 
quality of first equerry, despatched agents in 
every direction, even so far as Naples and The 
Hague, in search of horses worthy to draw these 
magnificent equipages, and eventually nearly fifty 
splendid animals were got together. 

The eventful day arrived. Soon after eleven 
o'clock, the princes and princesses and the principal 
ladies of the Court assembled in the bedchamber 
of the Princess Adelaide. At half-past eleven, 
the Due de Bourgogne, accompanied by the Due 
de Beauvilliers, was conducted thither by the 
Marquis de Blainville, Grand Master of the Cere- 
monies, and our old acquaintance Desgranges, 
Master of the Ceremonies, and took a seat near his 
betrothed, who was still at her toilette. The duke 
wore a suit of black velvet, with a mantle of the 
same, which was embroidered in gold and lined 
with cloth of silver, likewise embroidered with gold, 
but of a very fine embroidery. He was in doublet 
and open hose, and covered with lace, " with broad 


garters, ribbons on his shoes, and an aigrette in 
his hat." 1 

Presently a message arrived to say that the 
Council had broken up, and that the King was 
awaiting the bride in the Galerie des Glaces. The 
Due de Bourgogne then gave his hand to the prin- 
cess, whose dress was "of cloth of silver, em- 
broidered in silver, with a set of rubies and pearls," 
and she left her chamber, Dangeau, her chevalier 
d'honneur, supporting her dress on one side, and 
Tesse on the other ; while an exempt of the Guards 
staggered beneath the weight of her enormous 

In the gallery they found the King and the 
whole Court assembled. All, men and women alike, 
wore costumes of the utmost magnificence, and 
the princesses were literally ' covered with jewels. 
" Never had splendour of apparel been carried so 
far." 2 

1 Mercure de France, December 1697. 

2 We extract from the Mercure, which devotes some fifty pages 
to an account of the marriage and the fetes which followed it, a 
description of some of the wedding garments, which may not be 
without interest : " The King wore a suit of cloth of gold, reUeved 
on the seams by a rich and heavy gold embroidery. Monseigneur 
was habited in gold brocade, with gold embroidery on the seams. 
. . . Monsieur's dress was superb. His coat was of black velvet, 
with button-holes of heavy gold embroidery and large diamond 
buttons. His waistcoat was of cloth of gold, and the rest of his 
costume of a like sumptuousness. The Due de Chartres wore a 
suit of grey velvet, very tastefully embroidered, and enriched 
with diamonds, rubies, and emeralds. . . . The dresses of Madame, 
the Duchesse de Chartres, and Madame la Duchesse, were of the 
most beautiful cloth of gold, embroidered in gold as heavily and 
richly as possible. Their coiffures and their persons were covered 
with all kinds of jewels. The dress of Mademoiselle [:^lisabeth 
Charlotte d'Orleans, Monsieur's daughter by his second marriage], 
which aroused universal admiration, was of green velvet, exquisitely 


The procession to the chapel was at once 
formed. First came the bridal pair ; next, Mon- 
seigneur and Monsieur, their nearest relatives ; 
then the King, who was followed, by his Majesty's 
orders, by the Marchese Ferrero deUa Marmora, 
the Ambassador of Savoy, accompanied by the 
introdudeur of the Ambassadors ; ^ then the prin- 
cess and princesses, headed by Madame ; while the 
nobles and ladies in the order of their rank brought 
up the rear. But let us listen to the Mercure : 

" The Court in this magnificence passed through 
the grand gallery and the State apartments, 
descended the Grand Staircase, and entered the 
chapel. In all the apartments the crowd of spec- 
tators was very great, but in the chapel they kept 
excellent order. The Due de Bourgogne and the 
Princess of Savoy knelt on cushions opposite one 
another at the foot of the altar steps. The Cardinal 
de Coislin, Bishop-elect of Metz, first almoner to 
the King, performed the betrothal ceremony,* 
which was followed by that of the marriage. In 
both these ceremonies the Due de Bourgogne 
turned towards the King and Monseigneur to ask 
their consent ; and the Princess of Savoy did 
likewise, and also turned towards Monsieur and 

embroidered in gold, with a parure of diamonds and rubies. That 
of Mile, de Conde [Anne Louise de Bourbon, daughter of Monsieur 
le Prince] was of carnation-coloured velvet, with gold and silver 
embroidery and many jewels." 

- Ferrero to the Duke of Savoy, December 7, 1697, in Gagnifere. 
Ferrero's despatch leaves one in doubt as to whether the rest of 
the Diplomatic Corps walked in the procession, though he tells 
us that places were reserved for them in the chapel. 

' This was a deviation from custom. When Princes or Prin- 
cesses of the Blood married, the betrothal ceremony was generally 
performed the evening before the wedding in the King's private 


Madame to demand theirs as well.^ The Due de 
Bourgogne placed a ring on the finger of the Princess 
of Savoy, and presented her with thirteen pieces 
of gold. Then the cardinal began the Mass. At 
the Offertory, the Due de Bourgogne and the 
Princess of Savoy went to the offering, after having 
made the usual obeisances to the altar, to the King, 
and to Monseigneur. The Marquis de Blainville 
presented to the Due de Bourgogne a wax taper 
and ten louis d'or, and M. des Granges did the 
same to the Princess of Savoy, together with an 
equal number of louis. After the Mass, the King 
signed the register of the parish, and the Dauphin, 
the Due de Bourgogne, the Duchesse de Bourgogne, 
the Due d'Anjou, the Due de Berry, Monsieur 
and Madame, the Due and Duchesse de Chartres, 
Monsieur le Prince and Madame la Princesse, and 
the other princes and princesses signed after him." ^ 

The procession then reformed and returned to 
the apartments of the Duchesse de Bourgogne, 
by which title we must henceforth speak of the 
Princess Adelaide. In the ante-chamber a large 
table in the form of a horse-shoe had been arranged, 
at which the King, the bridal pair, and all the 
princes and princesses, to the number of twenty-one, 
dined, the guests including the Due du Maine and 
the Comte de Toulouse, " who, up to the present, 
had not enjoyed this honour"* and the Duchesse 
de Verneuil, widow of Henri de Bourbon, Henri iv's 

1 " When the moment arrived to say ' Yes,' the fiancie made 
four reverences, and the fianci two, since he asked the consent 
of his father and grandfather only ; while the fiancde asked the 
consent of Monsieur and myself also as grandparents." Letter of 
Madame to the Electress of Hanover. 

* Mercure. 

^ Ferrero to the Duke of Savoy, December 7, 1697. 

MMMilMMli m ilMl M 

III n!.r/ci'C <ta tA^stin ./c ^r,i /i.mli' ^yhitU,i/tcc 
fn<r/i /ji/nc/i ,i ^^Lyn.jc in i/ui't'/;/i' .iu\i- I'/zA-'/;'- 
cV f/cfim/'.i Ifit-ntSt i/^o fi'i/ircs u /./ fi-.incc 
qui Cn<T'f^7ef'i'*/r(- ti^iit- / U/iit-cro- 




son by Henriette d'Entragues.^ " So that," observes 
Saint-Simon, " M. de Verneuil became thus ' Prince 
of the Blood,' so many years after his death, without 
having suspected it." * 

During dinner, it was remarked that the Due 
de Bourgogne cast many affectionate glances in 
the direction of his bride. " I see my brother 
ogling his little wife," whispered the Due de Berry 
to Madame, who sat next him. " But, if I wished, 
I could ogle quite as well; you have to look 
steadily, sideways." Saying which, he proceeded 
to imitate his brother in so droll a manner, that 
Madame was quite unable to restrain her merriment. 

Upon leaving table, the company returned to 
the Duchesse de Bourgogne' s bedchamber, where 
the King remained a few minutes and then retired 
to his own apartments. The Due de Bourgogne 
and the other princes also withdrew, and the 
duchess was able to lay aside her heavy bridal 
robes and rest for a couple of hours. At six o'clock, 
however, she was compelled to don them again, in 
order to receive the Ambassador of Savoy, who 
came to compliment her on her marriage, and 
present to her several Italian nobles, who had 
come to assist at the ceremony and the fetes. At 
a quarter past seven, followed by a number of 
ladies, she repaired to the King's apartments, 
where Louis xiv was awaiting her, to receive 
James 11 and his consort. Upon their Majesties' 
arrival, the whole Court moved off to the gallery 
to see the fireworks, which had been prepared at 
the end of the Swiss lake. 

1 Ferrero to the Duke of Savoy, December 8, 1697. 
' Memoires. 


" Then, in the grand gallery, illuminated by 
lustres/ which shed their dazzling light on the robes 
of the ladies and the costumes laced with gold 
and silver embroidery and covered with precious 
stones, appeared the King, holding by the hand 
the Queen of England, who, together with the 
King of England, he conducted to the windows 
overlooking the garden, where, in the midst of 
that great sheet of water, there burst forth the 
most magnificent display of fireworks that had 
ever been seen." ^ 

After this spectacle, the effect of which was 
somewhat marred by the wind and rain which 
prevailed, the Court proceeded to the Duchesse 
de Bourgogne's bedchamber to view the nuptial 
couch — a veritable chef-d'ceuvre of the upholsterer's 
art, with a counterpane of green velvet, em- 
broidered in gold and silver — and the princess's 
toilette-set, which was laid out in an adjoining 
room, and was " much admired, both for its articles 
of gold and silver and for its embroidery and lace." 

Supper was then served, in the ante-chamber, 
to the King and the same persons who had had 
the honour of dining with him, with the addition 
of the ex-King and Queen of England. During 
the meal, the Due de Bourgogne's toilette-set 
was laid out in the duchess's grand cabinet, and 
aroused almost as much admiration as had that of 
his wife. 

1 " The gallery was lighted by three lines of lustres and a great 
number of candelabra." — Mercwre. 

* Despatch of the Venetian Ambassador, Nicolo Erizzo, to the 
Doge, December 13, 1697, in Gagnifere. "Everything was so 
arranged as to form arches of fire over the water, at the sides of 
which an immense number of lamps in earthen pots made a 
parterre of light." — Mercure. 


The time had now arrived for the pretended 
consummation of the marriage, without which the 
union would not have been considered binding. 
But this singular ceremony we will permit the 
Mercure to describe for us : 

" After the supper, the Grand Master of the 
Ceremonies [Blainville] and the Master of the 
Ceremonies [Desgranges] went to summon the 
Cardinal de Coislin, who was to pronounce the 
benediction of the bed. The Due de Bourgogne 
undressed in the cabinet in which his toilette-set 
had been placed, and, at the same time, the 
Duchesse de Bourgogne was undressed and knelt 
down at her prie-dieu, as soon as they had made 
all persons leave her bedchamber who had not the 
right to remain. The King of England [James 11] 
handed the shirt to the Due de Bourgogne, and 
the Queen of England the nightdress to the 
Duchesse de Bourgogne, who gave her garters 
and her nightcap to Mademoiselle. So soon as 
the Duchesse de Bourgogne was in bed, the King 
sent to summon the Due de Bourgogne, who 
entered the room in his dressing-gown, with his 
nightcap in his hand, and his hair tied behind 
with a flame-coloured ribbon, and placed him- 
self in bed on the right side. The curtains at 
the foot of the bed were closed, but those at the 
sides remained half-open. The King and the 
King and Queen of England withdrew, but 
Monsieur remained in the bedchamber. A mo- 
ment later, the Due de Bourgogne rose, passed 
into the grand cabinet, where he dressed again, 
and returned to his own apartments to sleep." ^ 

• " The Due de Bourgogne rose at the end of a quarter of an 
hour. . . . The Duchesse du Lude and all the Duchesse de 
Bourgogne's ladies remained around the bed. . . . The Due de 


Both Saint-Simon and the Venetian Ambassador 
relate an amusing incident, mentioned neither 
in the semi-official account given by the Mercure, 
nor in the discreet pages of Dangeau, which took 
place before the young couple parted for the night. 
We give the preference to Erizzo's version, which, 
though less piquant, is probably the more accu- 

" The Most Christian King and his Britannic 
Majesty, and the greater part of those who had 
been invited having retired, the Dauphin, by 
dint of affectionate encouragements, persuaded 
his son to approach his spouse and embrace her. 
The pious and austere Due de Beauvilliers, his 
gouverneur, objected strongly to this, reminding 
them of the King's stringent orders to the con- 
trary.^ But the Due de Bourgogne, on this occa- 
sion, preferred to obey his father rather than the 
other, and called the princess, who ran forward, 
threw herself into his arms, and gave immense 
proofs of her satisfaction. But, the first embraces 
exchanged, they will not find themselves together 
again until after the expiration of the two years 
necessary to reach the age of maturity." * 

The following evening, the Duchesse de Bour- 
gogne, wearing a dress of red velvet, embroidered 
in gold, and a set of diamonds, held a cercle in 
her grand cabinet, which was attended by nearly all 
the princesses and duchesses, magnificently attired.^ 

Beauvilliers, gouverneur of the Due de Bourgogne, remained in the 
ruelle of the bed all the time that he was with the Duchesse de 
Bourgogne." — Dangeau, Journal, December 7, 1697. 

1 Saint-Simon says that it was the Duchesse du Lude, and not 
BeauviUiers, who objected. 

^ Erizzo to the Doge, December 13, 1697. ' Mercure. 


On the gth, the young lady went to receive 
the felicitations of her friends at Saint-Cyr. " She 
was all in white, and her gown was so heavily em- 
broidered with silver that she was scarcely able 
to support it." However, she seems to have 
enjoyed herself. On her arrival, she was received 
with great pomp, and conducted to the church, 
where the Te Deum was sung ; while afterwards 
a choir composed on the plan of the choruses in 
Esther, recited verses in her honour, written by 
the dames} 

On the loth, the prince, who was in after years 
to be known as the "Old Pretender," and his 
sister, came to Versailles to offer her their con- 
gratulations, and in the evening she and the Due 
de Bourgogne supped with Madame de Maintenon 
in that lady's apartments ; while, on the nth, 
the first of the two grand balls which it had been 
arranged to give took place in the gaUery, and 
is described by the Mercure as the " largest and 
most magnificent that had ever been seen at Court." 
But let us listen to the impressions of the Venetian 
Ambassador, amplified by a few details from the 
above-mentioned journal. 

" The grand gallery was illuminated by more 
than five thousand candles, and between the 
reflections from the mirrors and the diamonds, this 
place was rendered brighter than if it had been 
lighted by the rays of the sun, when, on a sudden, 
the Due de Bourgogne, wearing a costume starred 
with gems,^ gave the signal for the grand dance." ^ 

1 Lavall^e, Histoire de la maison royale de Saint-Cyr. 
' " The Due de Bourgogne's coat was of black velvet, with 
many diamonds." — Mercure. 

' The branle, which the Duke opened with his wife. 


" In this dance, in which beauty and magnificence 
showed to advantage, the eye and the mind ex- 
perienced enchantments such as the blessed can 
scarcely conceive. The princes and the nobles 
were in gala costume, the princess and the ladies 
wore the most sumptuous gowns that had ever 
been seen.^ Part of their hair fell in long curls, 
and the other part was confined by sparkling gems. 

" The cost of the least sumptuous of these vest- 
ments was computed at twelve thousand livres, 
and the most sumptuous at thirty thousand livres, 
not including the precious stones, which were 
numberless and priceless. 

" At that hour the grandeur and brio of France 
was made manifest, and one understood how 
poor and miserable are the attempts of other 
countries to imitate it. The presence of the King 
gave lustre, and, at the same time, imposed a 
restraining influence on the f6te, in which the 
silence and constraint were so great, that one 
would have imagined oneself in the midst of a 
Senate of grave men rather than in a ball-room. 

"The dancing was followed by the collation, 
which was brought in by a hundred lackeys ; and 
the ball-room was so skilfully arranged, that in a 
moment it was transformed into a garden covered 
with flowers, fruit, and sweetmeats." ^ 

And Erizzo adds: 

" In the midst of so much joy fulness, one saw 

1 " The dress of the Duchesse de Bourgogne was of cloth of 
gold, with a trimming of diamonds, in which, as in her head-dress, 
were the most beautiful of the Crown diamonds. All the ladies 
at the ball were in cloths of gold or silver, or in velvets of all 
colours, and covered with jewels." — Mercure. 

" " At eight o'clock, the King called for the collation, which 
was brought in on twelve tables, covered with moss and verdure, 
instead of table-cloths. When all together, they formed a fragrant 
parterre, in which were four orange-trees." — Mercure. 


tears flowing from the eyes of the King and Queen 
of England, unhappy spectators of this great ball." ^ 

The second ball was given three nights later 
(December 14). It was equally magnificent, and 
more enjoyable than the one which had preceded 
it, on which occasion the crowd of spectators had 
been so great as to cause serious inconvenience to 
the dancers. The Duchesse de Bourgogne wore 
that evening " a dress of black velvet all covered 
with diamonds ; her hair was braided with pearls, 
and the rest of her coiffure was so full of diamonds, 
that one might say without exaggeration that the 
eye could scarcely endure such dazzling splendour." ^ 
The little princess's dancing was much admired, 
particularly in the minuet. 

The fgtes nominally concluded on the 17th, 
with the performance of the opera of Apollon el 
Issi, " an heroic pastoral in three acts," the music 
of which had been composed by Destouches, in the 
theatre of Trianon ; but, as a matter of fact, un- 
official rejoicings continued for some days longer. 

' Erizzo to the Doge, December 13, 1697. 
* Mercure de France, December 1697. 


Relations of the Due and Duchesse de Bourgogne to one 
another after their marriage — Studious habits of the duke — The 
princess begins to hold receptions — Efforts of social aspirants to take 
advantage of her inexperience — Removal of the restrictions hither- 
to imposed on her choice of amusements — She assists at a per- 
formance of the Bourgeois gentilhomme — Her visit to the Fair 
of Saint-Laurent — Her passion for dancing — She is encouraged 
to play cards — Pleasure which Louis xiv finds in her society 
— Her letters to Madame Royale — A water-party at Trianon — 
Consequences of the King and Madame de Maintenon's fooUsh 
indulgence of the httle princess — Her conduct severely criticised 
by Madame — A welcome improvement — The review at Compifegne 
— Consummation of the marriage of the Due and Duchesse de 

THE marriage of the Due de Bourgogne and 
the Princess Adelaide made Httle immediate 
difference in their relations to one another, 
and they continued to lead a separate existence, 
the one under the charge of the Due de Beau- 
villiers, the other under that of the Duchesse du 
Lude. However, as Louis xiv considered that it 
would be unreasonable, now that they were 
husband and wife, to restrict their intercourse to 
the weekly meeting which had been the rule since 
the princess's arrival in France, the Due de Bour- 
gogne was permitted to see her every day, and 
to talk to her without restraint, provided that one 
of the Duchess's ladies always remained in the room.^ 

''■ If we are to beUeve the unknown correspondent of Madame 
Dunoyer, the Due de Bourgogne rebelled against these restrictions ; 



Although nominally a married man, the young 
prince continued in statu fupillari, studying as 
diligently as ever to fit himself for the great 
position which, unhappily for France, he was 
destined never to occupy. His favourite study 
at this period was political philosophy, and he 
read and analysed with great care the Republic 
of Plato, while, " since he was persuaded that 
justice is the basis of true policy, he made himself 
acquainted with the principles of Roman and 
French jurisprudence." ^ 

Highly pleased with his grandson's industry, 
Louis XIV determined to give him practical lessons 
in the art of government, and accordingly directed 
the intendants throughout the kingdom to furnish 
detailed reports concerning the districts within 
their jurisdiction — their manufactures, agricultural 
products, roads, canals, ports, and so forth. The 
digestion of so stupendous a mass of statistics 
would have constituted a formidable undertaking 
for even the trained mind of a statesman ; but the 

and one fine night, with the connivance of a complaisant waiting- 
woman of the princess, concealed himself in her chamber, and, so 
soon as he believed that the Duchesse du Lude, who occupied the 
same room as her mistress, was asleep, emerged from his hiding- 
place. But scarcely had he done so, when the dame d'honneur, who 
apparently slept with one eye open, precipitated herself upon the 
intruder and promptly ejected him from the room. The writer 
adds that, next morning, Madame du Lude complained to the King, 
who sent for his grandson and drily observed : "I have ascertained, 
Monsieur, that something has happened which might be injurious 
to your health; I must beg you not to let it occur again" — Lettres 
historiques et galantes. The writer's weakness for the picturesque, 
however, renders the authenticity of this anecdote open to suspicion. 
1 " Pfere Martineau, Recueil des vertus du due de Bourgogne, et 
ensuite dauphin, pour servir ^ V Education d'un grand prince " ; — 
Haussonville, la Duchesse de Bourgogne et l' Alliance savoy arde sous 
Louis XIV. 


knowledge of the resources of the country subse- 
quently shown by the young prince proves that 
he had grappled with it with remarkable success, 
and that he must have been endowed, not only 
with unwearying industry and a veritable passion 
for details, but an astonishing memory. 

While the Due de Bourgogne was employed 
in analysing Plato and Justinian, and digesting 
statistics, his wife had taken her place in the 
ofi&cial life of the Court. She now held a cercle 
of her own, newcomers to the Court were presented 
to her, and the Ambassadors received in public 
audience. That she would very willingly have 
dispensed with the right of holding these formal 
receptions is more than probable, since in an age 
and in a society which attached such extraordinary 
importance to the minutiae of etiquette, she was 
constantly required to be on her guard against the 
commission of some error which might enable 
aspiring persons, who were only too ready to take 
advantage of the youth and inexperience of the 
first lady in the land, ^ to lay claim to privileges to 
which they were not entitled. 

Nevertheless, she appears to have emerged 
from these decidedly trying ordeals with much 
credit, though, on two or three occasions, her 
ignorance or timidity might have entailed very 
serious consequences, from the hierarchical point 
of view. Thus, at the reception of Madame van 
Heemskirke, the wife of the Dutch Ambassador, 
she conferred the cousinly kiss, not only on the 
Ambassadress, but on that lady's daughter as well ; 
while, at another reception, she permitted, without 
a word of protest, the haughty and enterprising 


Princesse d'Harcourt, who, in virtue of her con- 
nection with the House of Lorraine, claimed prece- 
dence over the wives of all the dukes not of the Royal 
Blood, to deprive Madame de Rohan by force of her 
place at the head of the duchesses. Both ladies 
felicitated themselves on having established their 
respective claims to the privileges they coveted. 
But, in the first instance, Madame, the second 
lady of the Court, firmly refused to consider the 
example of an inexperienced child binding upon 
her, and speedily dissipated the fond illusion of the 
Ambassador's daughter ; while, in the second, the 
King himself intervened, ordered the Princesse 
d'Harcourt to tender a public apology to the 
Duchesse de Rohan, and pronounced against her 

However, the Duchesse de Bourgogne found 
abundant compensations for such little mortifica- 
tions in the gradual removal of the restrictions 
hitherto imposed on her choice of pleasures. On 
October 30, 1698, she was permitted to go to the 
play for the first time, as were the Due de Bour- 
gogne and his brothers ; and, in company with 
them, witnessed a performance of the Bourgeois 
gentilhomme at the Comedie-Frangaise, on which 
occasion the delight of the young people must 
have afforded the audience almost as much diver- 
sion as the antics of the immortal M. Jourdain. 
" The Due de Bourgogne," writes Madame, 
" quite lost his gravity, and laughed till the tears 
came into his eyes; the Due d'Anjou was so de- 
lighted that he sat in ecstasies, with his mouth 
wide open ; the Due de Berry laughed so much 

1 Saint-Simon, Memoires. 


that he nearly fell off his chair. The Duchesse de 
Bourgogne, who understands better how to dis- 
guise her feelings, controlled herself very well at 
the beginning, laughed but little, and contented 
herself with smihng ; but now and then she forgot 
herself, and rose from her chair in order to see 
better. She was also very amusing in her way." ^ 
Two months later, we hear of the princess gracing 
with her presence a performance of Bajazet — 
though, unfortunately, we are not told what 
impression this tragedy made upon her; and 
Dangeau announces that the King had given her 
permission to visit the " Comedie " whenever she 

The Duchesse de Bourgogne's expeditions to 
Paris, however, were not confined to the occasions 
when she visited the Comedie-Frangaise or the 
Opera, which she attended for the first time on 
January 28, 1699, under the escort of the Dauphin. 
She went there pretty frequently to inspect the 
latest modes ; for, young as she was, she was already 
beginning to appreciate the important part which 
the toilette and its accessories played in the life of 
a lady of rank. But, since she loved amusements 
of all kinds, the days generally selected for her 
visits were those of some popular f6te, when the 
great city wore its gayest aspect. Thus, in August 
1698, escorted by Tesse and accompanied by a 
number of ladies of the Court, she drove to the 
Fair of Saint-Laurent, in a magnificent coach 
drawn by eight horses. On arriving at the fair, 

1 Correspondance de Madame, Duchesse d'Orlians (edit. Jaegl6). 
Letter of November i, 1698, to the Electress of Hanover. 
' Dangeau, Journal, December 28, 1698. 


which was held outside the Porte Saint-Denis, she 
aUghted from her coach and mingled with the 
people, who all applauded her charm and her 
gracious manners, and were lost in admiration 
at the magnificence of her attire, which consisted 
of " un habit gris de lis en falbala, trimmed with 
silver -lace, diamonds, and emeralds." First 
she went to see the tight-rope dancers and the 
marionettes, whose performances were always one 
of the principal attractions of the famous fair, and 
was so pleased with their skill that she presented 
them with a handsome donation. Then she made 
the round of the principal shops, including that of 
a jeweller, who, in anticipation of her visit, had pre- 
pared for her a most sumptuous collation, and made 
numerous purchases, which she subsequently distri- 
buted among the ladies who had accompanied her. 
She remained at the fair until nearly seven o'clock, 
when, after leaving a considerable sum of money 
for distribution among the poor of Paris, she re- 
entered her coach and returned to Versailles by a 
circuitous route, which enabled her to make the 
acquaintance of the Place Royale, the Rue Saint- 
Antoine, the Place de Greve, the quays, and the 

The interdict which had been placed on her 
attendance at balls was also removed, and, since 
she was passionately fond of dancing, this diversion, 
which had been for some time past out of fashion, 
became once more the mode, and all the principal 
personages of the Court desired to give a ball or a 
masquerade in honour of the princess. Several 
of these entertainments were very splendid affairs 

^ Mercure de France, August 1698. 


indeed, particularly the masquerades given by the 
King at Marly, in February 1698, at which, we are 
told, many of the dancers disguised themselves four 
or five times every evening, and where " nothing 
was lacking which might please the eye, flatter 
the ear, and satisfy the taste." ^ 

Among the balls given by members of the 
Court, one of the most magnificent was that of 
Madame de Pontchartrain, the wife of the Chan- 
cellor, in connection with which the Lettres histori- 
gues et galantes relate an amusing anecdote : 

" On the morning of the day on which Madame 
la Chanceliere gave her ball to the Duchesse de 
Bourgogne, the princess sent a "^ coach drawn by 
six horses to the Professionist Monastery to fetch 
Pere Le Comte [her confessor]. On his arrival, 
the Jesuit, greatly surprised at this summons, 
inquired ' if it were her wish to confess at so 
unseasonable an hour.' To which the princess 
replied : ' No, Father ; I did not send for you to 
shrive me, but to design for me as quickly as 
possible a Chinese lady's costume. I know that you 
have lived in China, and I want to wear the dress of 
that country at the ball this evening.' The confessor 
frankly avowed that he had had more to do with the 
men of China than with the women. Nevertheless, 
she insisted on his sketching her a design, after which 
she dismissed him, and set people to work upon 
her costume."^ 

The King and Madame de Maintenon would 
certainly have been well-advised if they had con- 
tinued their prohibition of cards and similar diver- 
sions for some years longer. But play was so popular 

1 Mercure de France, February 1698. 

" Madame Dunoyer, Lettres historiques et galantes, Lettre xxi. 


an amusement at Court, that their complaisance in 
this matter, though very regrettable, is not difficult 
to understand, since to deny the little lady permis- 
sion to worship at the shrine of Fortune would have 
been to condemn her to spend many a dull evening. 
What, however, is surprising, is that, so far from 
counselling moderation in the pursuit of this 
insidious pastime, Louis xiv actually appears to have 
encouraged a taste for play in the child, organising 
games of chance and raffles for her in Madame de 
Maintenon's apartments, taking her with him to 
watch the gambling orgies which went on in the 
Princesse de Conti's, and even now and again 
permitting her to take a hand at lansquenet, at this 
period the most popular medium for speculation. 
The consequence was that the little princess soon 
began to develop a passion for play, which was to 
bring upon her serious embarrassments and much 
unhappiness ; but of this we shall have occasion to 
speak later on. 

Deplorable as such imprudence on the part of 
Louis XIV may seem, it no doubt proceeded from 
his inability to deny any pleasure to the child 
who had so completely conquered his heart, and 
in whose company he seemed to renew his youth, 
and to experience sentiments to which he had been 
for too many years a stranger. " The King," writes 
Sourches, " entertains for her all the affection and 
all the kindness which it is possible to conceive." 
He never allowed a day to pass without seeing her. 
If he remained in bed, because he was unwell or had 
" taken medicine," he sent for her to come to his 
room. If, on the other hand, the princess was con- 
fined to her apartments, which happened occasionally. 


as most of her teeth were decayed, and she suffered 
much from toothache, his Majesty always came to 
see her. Every day, she either walked or drove with 
him ; and when he followed the chase, almost in- 
variably occupied the second place in his soufflet, 
wearing a hunting costimie of red velvet trimmed 
with gold lace and a plumed hat, which every 
one declared suited her to perfection. 

Since, however, Louis xiv did not hunt so 
frequently as in his younger days, and walks and 
drives were somewhat monotonous occupations 
for a young girl, the King frequently spent the 
afternoon in giving the princess lessons in pall- 
mall, at which ancient game he was an expert per- 
former. Pall-mall had been for some years rather 
neglected; but no sooner was his Majesty and 
the Duchesse de Bourgogne seen playing it, than 
its vogue revived with quite extraordinary rapidity ; 
and we find Monseigneur, when he proposed 
spending a few days at Meudon, inviting none 
but votaries of the game to accompany him. 

The little princess would certainly have been 
hard to please if she had not been happy when 
so many pains were taken to keep her amused; 
and the brief letters which she wrote during the 
two years which followed her marriage to Madame 
Royale show that she was enchanted with her 
new life, and far from insensible to all the kind- 
ness and attention of which she was the object. 
A selection from these letters ^ may not be without 
interest to the reader : 

1 These letters have been pubhshed by the Contessa della Rocca, 
in her Correspondance inSdite de la Duchesse de Bourgogne et de la 
Reine d'Espagne (Paris, 1864), and by M. Gagnifere, in his Marie 
Adelaide de Savoie, Letires et Correspondances (Paris, 1897). 


" Versailles, 13 February 1698 
" I hope, my dear grandmamma, that the Marquis 
de Cirie ^ will tell you agreeable things of this 
country, and particularly of myself, who have a 
great desire to please you. I envy the pleasure 
that he will have in giving you an account of every- 
thing ; you will have no difficulty in understanding 
how happy I am. My only desire is that it will 
long continue, and you have enough affection for 
me to interest yourself therein." 

" {February 1698] 
" If I were able to amuse you by my letters, 
my dear grandmamma, you would receive them 
more often ; but I am afraid of wearying you by 
constantly assuring you of my affection, about which 
you can entertain no doubt. I know that a thou- 
sand ladies send you news of me, and you know better 
than myself what happens here. It only remains 
for me to tell you that I appreciate all my happiness, 
and that I love you tenderly." 

" 28 February 1698 
" I hope to remedy, when I have learned how to 
write, the faults, which I now commit, and to 
make you understand then, my dear grandmamma, 
that I write to you seldom, because I write very 
badly, but that I do not love you less tenderly. 
I am going to the ball." 

" 2 July [1698] 
" They are working on my menagerie.^ The 
King has ordered Mansart ^ to spare nothing. 
Imagine, my dear grandmamma, what it will be. 

* The Marquise de Cirie, a member of the House of Doria, had 
been sent by the Duke of Savoy to compliment Louis xiv on the 

^ She means, of course, the Chiteau of the Menagerie, in which 
various alterations were being carried out. 

' Jules Hardouin Mansart, the famous architect. 


But I shall not see it until my return from Fon- 
tainebleau. It is true that the King's kindnesses 
to me are wonderful ; but I love him well also. 
I have made him your compliments, and he orders 
me to make them to you on his behalf. Love me 
always, my .dear grandmother ; I shall treat you 
the same."^ 

" Versailles, [September] 1698 
" Those who love me as you do, my dear grand- 
mamma, have every reason to rejoice with me at 
the King's kindness, for he gives me every day 
fresh proofs of it. I have reason to hope that it 
will increase. At any rate, I shall forget nothing 
on my part to deserve it. I am going to try a 
new pleasure — that of travelling. But I shall 
love you everywhere, my dear grandmamma." 

" FoNTAiNEBLEAU, 3! October 1698 
" The stay at Fontainebleau is very agreeable to 
me, particularly as it is the second place where I 
had the honour of seeing the King ; and I hope 
one thing, my dear grandmamma, which is that 
I shall be happy, not only at Fontainebleau, but 
everywhere, being resolved to do everything that 
depends on me to be so." 

" Versailles, 16 December 1698 
" I do not dare to tell you, my dear grandmamma, 
that I could not have the pleasure of writing to 
you sooner, because I have very little time to 
myself. I am shown every day something new 
and beautiful. The King continues his kindness 
to me, and I am very happy. I beg you, my 
dear grandmamma, to love me always, and to be 
assured of my respect for you." 

' M. GagniSre considers this letter " too well expressed for 
us to doubt for a moment that it was dictated by Madame de 
Maintenon." He places it among the letters of 1699, although 
it undoubtedly belongs to the previous year. 


"Versailles, December 1698 
" I could not write to you by the last courier, my 
dear grandmamma, because I am out continually, 
and every evening I go to see the King. I am 
sure that this excuse will not displease you, and 
that you will think that my time is well employed, 
when I spend it with the King. His kindness to 
me cannot be expressed, and, since I know the 
interest you take in my happiness, I am very 
pleased to assure you that it is perfect, and that 
it will never cause me to forget the tenderness 
that I ought to have and do have for you." 

" May 18, [1699] 
"You have then attained the summit of happi- 
ness, my dear grandmamma, since you find it in 
having a grandson.^ Your joy increases mine, 
since I cannot but share all that you feel, loving 
you as much as is possible, and being as grateful 
as I am for all your kindness to me." 

" Marly, 3 July 1699 
'' I am very glad, my dear grandmamma, that 
you are not tired of telling me of your affection, 
for I always receive the assurances of it with a 
new joy. I wish I could tell you of the beauties 
of this place, and of the pleasures we have here. 
I am delighted to be on the footing of coming here 
on all the visits, for I like them as much as the 
Marlys-Bourgogne.^ I embrace you, my dear 
grandmamma, and I am going to bathe." 

1 The Duchess of Savoy had given birth to the ardently-desired 
heir on April 26, 1699. Unhappily, as we have mentioned else- 
where, Victor Amadeus, Prince of Piedmont, did not live to succeed 
his father, as he died in 171 5. 

2 This sentence is somewhat enigmatical. But M. Gagnifere is 
of opinion that the princess means by " les Marly-Bourgogne " the 
brief visits to Marly on which she often accompanied the King, as 
distinguished from the formal sojourns of the Court there. 


" 7 September [1699] 
" They tell you the truth, my dear grandmamma, 
when they assure you of my happiness, and I may 
say that I have too many amusements, for they 
take up all my time. It is, however, true that 
the kindnesses of the King and of Monseigneur 
are my great pleasure. 

" I am well persuaded, my dear grandmamma, 
that you interest yourself in me, and I beg you 
to believe that I deserve it, in some degree, by 
the affection I have for you." 

Singularly enough, though there is scarcely 
one of the princess's letters written during these 
two years in which the King is not mentioned, 
her husband is only once referred to, namely, in a 
letter dated January 10, 1699, when she writes as 
follows : 

"10 January 1699 

" I am not yet free enough, my dear grand- 
mamma, with M. le Due de Bourgogne to do 
the honours for him. I am only very pleased 
that you are satisfied with his letters." 

However, it should be borne in mind that 
the young couple were not yet really married. 

When the summer came, water-parties appear 
to have been again a favourite means of amusing 
the princess. Dangeau describes at some length 
one which was organised in June 1699 at Trianon. 

" At six o'clock in the evening," he writes, 
" the King entered the gardens, and, after pro- 
menading for some time, took a seat on the terrace 
which overlooked the canal, and watched Mon- 
seigneur, the Duchesse de Bourgogne, and all the 


Princesses embark. Monseigneur was in a gondola, 
with the Due de Bourgogne and the Princesse 
de Conti. The Duchesse de Bourgogne was in 
another, with the ladies whom she had chosen ; 
the Duchesse de Chartres and Madame la Duchesse 
in others. All the King's musicians were on a 
yacht. The King remained until eight o'clock, 
listening to the music, which was brought as near 
to him as possible. When the King re-entered 
the chateau, the gondolas went to the end of the 
canal, and the party did not return to the chateau 
till supper time. The King had originally intended 
to embark ; but, as he had some tendency to rheu- 
matism, M. Fagon dissuaded him, although the 
weather was very fine. Monseigneur and the 
Duchesse de Bourgogne walked in the gardens 
and on the terrace above the chateau tiU two 
hours after midnight, when Monseigneur went to 
bed, and the Duchesse de Bourgogne entered a 
gondola with some of her ladies, and remained 
on the canal until sunrise." 

Dangeau adds that even then the young lady, 
so far from seeking repose, insisted on staying up 
until seven o'clock to see Madame de Maintenon 
start for Saint-Cyr, when she at length retired to 
bed, " without appearing the least fatigued by so 
long a vigil." ^ 

Unhappily, neither Louis xiv nor Madame 
de Maintenon seem to have stopped to consider 
the probable effect of so much indulgence upon the 
character of the Httle girl. The King desired 
to see the princess happy ; and, since, to the very 

^ Journal, June 10, 1699. 


young, happiness is generally synonjnnous with 
the pursuit of pleasure, multiplied the balls, Mtes, 
and other entertainments which afforded her so 
much delight. Madame de Maintenon desired the 
child's affection, partly because she was really 
attached to her, and partly from motives of 
expediency, since she foresaw that a day might 
come when the princess would be in a position 
to exercise considerable influence. The easiest 
way to gain and to retain this affection seemed 
to be to render her life as pleasant as possible, 
and, though she can scarcely have failed to perceive 
the danger of the empty and frivolous existence 
which her former charge was leading, she com- 
forted herself with the reflection that she had 
done all in her power to inspire her with sentiments 
of religion and duty while she was under her care, 
and that she might now be left to follow her own 

The consequences of this injudicious treatment 
were not slow in revealing themselves. On her 
arrival in France, nothing about the princess had 
been more favourably remarked upon than the 
modesty of her behaviour and the charming 
courtesy with which she had treated every one 
with whom she came in contact. But, after her 
marriage, the attentions lavished upon her by 
the King and the flattery of the time-serving 
courtiers, always quick to follow their master's 
lead, began to turn the child's head, and, if we 
are to believe Madame, her manners deteriorated 
in the most alarming fashion, and, emboldened 
by the indulgence which was extended to her, 
she ended by developing into a veritable hoyden. 


In her letters to the Electress of Hanover, the 
outspoken German criticises the girl's conduct 
in the most severe terms. 

"18 September 1698 
" They [the King and Madame de Maintenon] 
are absolutely spoiling the Duchesse de Bourgogne. 
When she goes for a drive, she does not remain 
in her place for a moment, but seats herself upon 
the knees of all who happen to be in the same 
coach, and jumps about like a little monkey. 
All this is considered charming. In her own 
apartments she is absolute mistress, and people 
do everything ^he wishes. Sometimes she takes 
it into her head to go and ramble about at five 
o'clock in the morning.^ Everything is permitted 
and admired. Any other person would give his 
child a whipping if she behaved in this way. A 
time will come, I am sure, when they will regret 
having allowed this child to act just as she pleases." 

And, a month later, she writes again : 

" 22 October 1698 
Mon Dieu ! how badly, in my opinion, is 
the Duchesse de Bourgogne being brought up ! 
This child makes me pity her. In the middle of 
dinner, she begins to sing, she dances on her chair, 
pretends to bow to the servants, makes the most 
hideous grimaces, tears the chickens and partridges 
on the dishes to pieces with her hands, thrusts 
her fingers into the sauces. In short, it is im- 
possible to be worse brought up, and those who 
stand behind her exclaim : ' What grace she 
has ! how pretty she is.' She treats her father- 

1 This is confirmed by the Lettres historiques et galantes : " Some- 
times she [the Duchesse de Bourgogne] took it into her head to get 
up at night and go out for a walk in the park ; and then the worthy 
Madame du Lude must needs get up, too, and go after her. 


in-law [Monseigneur] disrespectfully, and addresses 
him as ' thee ' and ' thou.' He imagines then that 
he is in favour, and is quite delighted by it. She 
treats the King with more familiarity still." 

However, if the young princess's head was a 
little turned, her heart remained good, and Madame 
herself relates, with evident satisfaction, the grief 
she had shown in taking leave of the writer's 
daughter, filisabeth Charlotte d' Orleans, who in 
October i6g8 was married to the Duke of Lorraine, 
and adds that it was a proof that she possessed 
a good disposition. Nor were the bad manners 
of which she had complained of long duration, 
since by the end of the year Madame is able to 
report that a very welcome change has taken 
place in her Royal Highness' s behaviour, and 
that she " eats quieilj .and soberly," and has 
entirely ceased to*-ging.'ind jump about, or thrust 
her fingers mto/ fhe dishes. This reformation 
she attributes to.'' the fact that one of her letters 
had been open,'5id by the officials of the Post Office, 
and the attention of the Duchesse de Bourgogne 
drawn to its contents ; and, as a similar fate befell 
that princess's correspondence on several other 
occasions, her supposition is probably well founded. 

The chief event of the year 1698 was the great 
review at Compiegne, which was intended by 
Louis XIV to serve the twofold purpose of de- 
monstrating to Europe that, so far from being 
enfeebled by the immense efforts she had made 
during the recent struggle, France was still as 
redoubtable as ever, and of giving the Due de 
Bourgogne his first lessons in the art of war. The 


manoeuvres, which began in the first days of 
September, lasted three weeks, and were witnessed 
by the King, Madame de Maintenon, and almost 
the entire Court, for whom the officers of the 
different regiments engaged kept open table and 
dispensed such lavish hospitality, that many are 
said to have been well-nigh ruined. The Due de 
Bourgogne was nominally in command of the 
troops, which consisted of 35,000 infantry, nearly 
3000 cavalry, and several batteries of artillery, 
though the Marechal de Boufflers really directed 
the operations. These included a cannonade, the 
passage of a river, a skirmish, a general engage- 
ment, and the investment of Compiegne, which was 
undertaken, according to the rules of war, with 
trenches, batteries, mines, and so forth, and con- 
cluded with a grand assault upon the town. 

The assault, which took place on September 13, 
was regarded as the chief spectacle of the man- 
oeuvres. Early in the morning the inhabitants of 
Compiegne were awakened by the thunder of 
cannon, and the King and all the Court proceeded 
to the top of the ramparts, from which a splendid 
view of the surrounding plain and all the disposi- 
tions of the troops could be obtained. " It was 
the most beautiful sight that can be imagined," 
writes Saint-Simon, " to see all that army, and the 
prodigious number of spectators on horse and foot, 
and that game of attack and defence so cleverly 
carried out." But what the chronicler declares 
interested him infinitely more than the martial 
panorama beneath him, was the sight of Madame 
de Maintenon in her sedan-chair, which her porters 
had laid upon the ground, with the Duchesse de 


Bourgogne seated on the left pole in front, the 
other princesses and the ladies of the Court standing 
round in a semicircle, and the King at the right 
window, bending ever and anon, with bared head, 
to explain to his wife the reason for the different 
movements which the troops were executing. 
Madame de Maintenon, who had a horror of fresh 
air, and even on the hottest days kept the windows 
of her apartments and her carriage closed, declined 
to let down the glass of her sedan-chair more than 
a few inches when his Majesty wished to address 
her, and put it up again the moment he had finished 
speaking, so that conversation was carried on 
with some difficulty, and the Duchesse de Bour- 
gogne was compelled to shout to her " aunt " 
through the front window. 

The spectacle of his enemy receiving in the 
presence of Court and Army the honours due to 
a queen impressed itself so vividly on Saint-Simon's 
mind, that he assures us that he could describe it 
"forty years hence as well as to-day"; and, if 
hatred and malice were as powerful a stimulus to 
his memory as they were to his imagination, we 
can well believe it. 

On September 15, a " pitched battle " was 
fought, in which the Due de Bourgogne, aided by 
the counsels of Boufflers, commanded one of the 
armies, and the Marquis, afterwards the Marechal, 
de Rosen, the other. It had been, of course, ar- 
ranged that the young prince should be victorious ; 
but, owing to some misunderstanding, the oppos- 
ing army found itself in an unexpectedly favour- 
able position when the King sent orders for it to 
retire from the field; and it is to be feared that, 


in actual warfare^ retreat in such circumstances 
would have resulted in its commander being 
promptly cashiered. 

A few days later, the manoeuvres, from which 
Dangeau tells us the Due de Bourgogne had derived 
" great pleasure and much profit," terminated, 
and the Court returned to Versailles, to the intense 
relief of the ladies, most of whom had been com- 
pelled to put up with very poor accommodation, 
and were heartily tired of spending long hours 
under a hot sun, and counterfeiting an interest 
in matters in regard to which their indifference was 
only surpassed by their ignorance. The Duchesse 
de Bourgogne, on the other hand, seems to have 
rather enjoyed herself, and went frequently to 
the camp to dine with Boufflers and show herself 
to the soldiers, whose rations she on more than one 
occasion assisted in distributing. 

In the summer of 1699, Louis xiv having decided 
that the time was now approaching when the 
young couple might be permitted to live together, 
gave orders that apartments should be prepared 
for the Due de Bourgogne, who had up to then 
shared a suite with his two brothers in the southern 
wing of the chateau. The apartments selected 
were those occupied by the former gouvernante 
of the young princes, the Marechale de le Mothe, 
which were situated on the first floor of the old 
wing, overlooking the Cour Royale,^ and communi- 
cating both with the ante-chamber of the King 

1 These apartments were the ofiScial lodging of the gouvernante 
of the Children of France ; but, though the last of the young princes 
had passed out of the Marechale de la Mothe's hands some years 
before, the King had permitted her to retain them. 


and with the grand cabinet of the Duchesse de 
Bourgogne ; and here the Due de Bourgogne lived 
until the death of his father in 171 1. 

The necessary alterations were completed by 
the time the Court returned from its annual 
autumnal visit to Fontainebleau, and the Due and 
Duchesse de Bourgogne began their married life 
forthwith. Under date October 22, 1699, Dangeau 
writes in his Journal : 

"The Due de Bourgogne passed the night for 
the first time with the Duchesse de Bourgogne. At 
first, he will only pass alternate nights with her.^ 
The King, after he had supped, decided to go and 
see them in bed together ; but he went a little too 
late, and, finding the doors closed, discreetly 
declined to cause them to be opened."^ 

^ This arrangement, however, only" lasted three weeks ; for on 
November ii, Dangeau announces that in future the Due de Bour- 
gogne will always pass the night with his wife. 

' A fragment from the MSmoires of the Baron de BreteuU, who 
shared with Nicolas Sainctot the duties of introducteur of the Am- 
bassadors, which has been pubhshed by Cimber and Danjou in the 
Archives curieuses de I'Histoire de France, under the title, De la 
SoirSe et du lendemain de la premihe nuit\que M. le due et madame 
la duchesse de Bourgogne ont passSe 'ensemble, contains some 
curious details concerning this event which, to his evident regret, 
took place " without any ceremony or pubUcity," the King having 
decided that, since the marriage had nominally been consummated 
two years before, there was no necessity for a repetition of the 
formahties which had been observed on that occasion : 

" The Duchesse de Bourgogne, who supped in Madame de 
Maintenon's apartments, retired to bed at ten o'clock, and so un- 
expectedly, that, with the exception of her first femme de chamhre, 
none of her women were awaiting her. The Due de Bourgogne, 
who supped with the King, went, after supper, to undress in his 
new apartment, which had been prepared for him during the visit 
to Fontainebleau, and which communicated, on one side, with the 
ante-chamber of the King, and, on the other, with the grand cabinet 
of the Duchesse de Bourgogne. So soon as he was undressed, he 
passed into the apartments of the Duchesse de Bourgogne; and 


"The rapprochement of the Due and Duchesse 
de Bourgogne was duly announced by the Mercure, 
and subsequently by the foreign journals, and 
celebrated in the capital by public rejoicings and 
by the composition of niunerous chansons, some 
of which were of so very gai a character that the 
lieutenant of police gave orders to his myrmidons 
to confiscate them, though their efforts do not 
appear to have been attended with much success.^ 
At the Court, it was immediately followed by the 
emancipation of the young prince from the authority 
of the Due de Beauvilliers, and the recognition of 
his arrival at man's estate. The King added three 
noblemen to the number of his gentlemen,^ offered 
him a substantial increase of the allowance which 
he had made him at the time of his marriage, — 
though the duke declined it, observing that, what 
he already enjoyed was sufficient for his needs, 
and that if at any future time he should find it 
inadequate, he would take the liberty of informing 
his Majesty, — and finally, to mark his appreciation 
of his high character and the aptitude for affairs of 

all this occupied so short a time, that the King, who had told them 
that he was coming alone to their apartment to see them in bed, 
arrived too late and did not go in. The Due de Bourgogne's hair 
was frizzled, and the magnificence of his deshabilli and his toilette 
savoured of marriage. He quitted his apartment with a courageous 
and rather sprightly air, and, as I had the honour of holding his 
candlestick, I conducted him up to the door of the nuptial chamber. 
As for Madame de Bourgogne, she wept copiously all the evening 
at Madame de Maintenon's; and the King told us, at his petit 
coucher, that her alarmed modesty had begun to cause her to shed 
tears four or five days ago.'' 

1 According to the Lettres historiques et galantes, the most 
popular of these had been composed by Madame la Duchesse. 

" These three noblemen were called menins, and one at least 
of them accompanied the prince wherever he went. 



which he was already beginning to give promise, 
nominated him a member of the Council of 
Despatches,^ an honour which had never before 
been conferred upon so youthful a prince. 

1 The Council of Despatches was that in which the internal 
affairs of the kingdom were discussed. Every prince was re- 
quired to attend its deliberations for some time before he was 
admitted to the Council of Finances and the Council of State. 


Contrast between the Due and Duchesse de Bourgogne — Attempt 
of the latter to enter into the serious views of her husband — She 
ralhes him on his gravity, and makes game of him behind his back 
— Happiness of the first years of their married life — The Carnival 
of 1700 — Madame la Chancelidre's ball — The Duchesse de Bourgogne 
aspires to fame as an amateur actress — A theatre is organised for 
her amusement in the apartments of Madame de Maintenon — 
Representations of Jonathas, Absalon, and Athalie — GambUng at 
the Court of Louis xiv — Losses of the Duchesse de Bourgogne 
at lansquenet — She is compelled to seek the good offices of Madame 
de Maintenon to get her debts paid — Her grateful and contrite 
letter to that lady — " High play stiU her dominant passion " — 
She gets into a serious scrape over lansquenet — Injurious effect 
upon the princess's health of her insatiable appetite for pleasure — 
Her alarming illness in August 1701 

IT would have been difficult to find two persons 
more dissimilar in character than the young 
people who thus began their married life 
at a time when their united ages scarcely exceeded 
thirty years ; the husband grave, studious, pious 
to the verge of austerity, guided in his every action 
by that stern sense of religion and duty which had 
enabled him to subdue the promptings of an excep- 
tionally passionate and stubborn nature ; the 
wife amiable, affectionate, high-spirited, and intelli- 
gent, but impulsive, thoughtless, and greedy for 
all kinds of pleasure. Nevertheless, they would 
appear to have been for some years happy enough. 
The Due de Bourgogne adored his wife ; and, if the 


girl did not reciprocate his passionate devotion, 
she was of too affectionate a nature to remain 
wholly unresponsive ; while it is certain that she 
felt for him the warmest esteem, and though too 
young and frivolous to sympathise with his serious 
views of life, at any rate, made some effort to 
understand them. In this connection, Proyart 
cites an amusing letter which she wrote about this 
time to Madame de Maintenon. 

" I am not content with doing the wiU of the 
Due de Bourgogne, but I even enter into his views, 
which is no small matter for me. For you must 
understand, my dear aunt, that he sometimes 
offers them to me in three degrees, — the good, the 
better, the perfect, — just as M. de Cambrai [Fenelon] 
would do, and leaves me free to choose. Some- 
times I have a good mind to declare for neut- 
rality; but, by what enchantment I know not, I 
always conform to his wishes, even in spite of 

But the young princess's respect for her husband 
and her anxiety to conform to his wishes did not 
prevent her from rallying him incessantly on a 
gravity of speech and manner so far beyond his 
years, and making game of him behind his back; 
and, on one occasion, if we are to believe the 
correspondent of Madam Dunoyer, the girl's 
fondness for ridicule came very near to causing a 
serious breach between her and the prince. 

We have mentioned that one of the Due de 
Bourgogne' s shoulders had outgrown the other, 
and, as he advanced in years, this defect increased 

^ Vie du Dauphin, pire de Louis xy. 


to a degree which spoiled his figure and seriously- 
hampered him in walking. Writing in the spring 
of 1701, Madame declares that " the Due de Bour- 
gogne is more deformed than the Due de Luxem- 
bourg. The latter was merely a hunchback, but 
the Due de Bourgogne is quite awry. One of his 
legs is much shorter than the other, and so much 
so, that, when he wishes to stand up, the heel of one 
of his feet is in the air, and he only touches the 
ground with the toes." ^ 

Now, the Duchesse de Bourgogne was an 
admirable mimic, and frequently diverted the King 
by the cleverness with which she imitated the 
peculiarities of prominent persons at the Court. 
One day, at Madame de Maintenon's, encouraged 
by the laughter and applause which her efforts 
evoked, she so far forgot what was due to her 
husband as to include him among her victims, and 
counterfeited both his mannerisms and his gait 
with merciless skill. 

Unhappily, one of the company informed the 
Due de Bourgogne of what had taken place. The 
prince, as might be expected, was exceedingly 
angry, and that night, instead of repairing as usual 
to his wife's room, he slept in his own apartments, 
and sent one of his gentlemen to tell the duchess 
that " he was greatly displeased at her conduct, 
and that, though she would place him under an 
obligation by informing him at once of his defects 
of mind or character, so that he might hasten to 
correct them, there was nothing witty in holding 
his physical infirmities up to ridicule." 

1 Correspondance de Madame, Duchesse d'Orleans (edit. Jaegle). 
Letter of March 31, 1701, to the Electress of Hanover. 


The young lady would not appear to have 
taken this well-merited rebuke in very good part, 
and the prince, in consequence, kept to his own 
apartments for some days. Nor was it until the 
King himself intervened that a reconciliation was 

However, this quarrel, which gossip has perhaps 
exaggerated, was the only misunderstanding of any 
consequence that occurred to mar the harmony 
of the first few years of their married life. In 
general, the duke was the kindest and most indul- 
gent of husbands; while the princess, if she were 
unable to resist the temptation of bantering him 
on his serious life, in which the pleasures which she 
herself held so dear found no part, was seldom 
ill-natured, and seems to have lived with him on 
very affectionate terms. It is true that Madame, 
in September 1701, expresses her belief that the 
Duchesse de Bourgogne, " provided she had given 
birth to a prince or two, would see without regret 
the worthy man [the Due de Bourgogne] take his 
departure for the celestial regions."^ But that 
lady's predilection for exhibiting people whom she 
disliked in the most unfavourable colours is almost 
as pronounced as that of Saint-Simon, and, any 
way, it is difficult to reconcile such a statement 
with the account given by Dangeau of the affec- 
tionate meeting between husband and wife on the 
duke's arrival from the Spanish frontier a few 
months earlier, when " it would have been impos- 
sible to testify more joy than they have both shown 

' Madame Dunoyer, Lettres historiques et galantes. Letire xvi. 
2 Correspondance de Madame, Duchesse d'OrUans (edit. Jaegl6). 
Letter of September 26, 1701. 


at seeing one another again," ^ or with the princess's 
conduct on her husband's return from his first 
campaign in the autumn of 1702 : " The Due de 
Bourgogne, who was not expected until to-morrow, 
arrived a Httle before midnight. . . . The Duchesse 
de Bourgogne, warned promptly of his arrival, 
ran to the King's cabinet by way of the gallery, 
although she was en deshabille, having been on the 
point of getting into bed. The embraces were 
warm and tender. She carried him off to her 
apartments and into her petits cabinets. Livry 
[first maitre d'hdtel to the King] sent for food for 
him, and he was served by the waiting-women. 
The meal lasted but a short time, such was his 
impatience to find himself alone with her." ^ 

Nevertheless, as we shall presently see, a time 
did arrive when the growing austerity of the Due 
de Bourgogne began to weary his young wife, and 
to transform the affection and respect which she 
had hitherto entertained for him into something 
very like indifference and contempt. Happily, 
this phase of their married life was not of long 
duration, and was succeeded by an almost perfect 
understanding, which lasted until death claimed 
them both. 

Although the commencement of the married life 
of the Due and Duchesse de Bourgogne was not 
signalised by any festivities, so far as the Court 
was concerned, their absence was fully atoned for 
during the Carnival of 1700, which was the gayest 
that had been known for many years. 

The openly-expressed desire of Louis xiv to see 

' Dangeau, Journal, April 20, 1701. 

2 Dangeau, Journal, September 8, 1702. 


his idolized grand-daughter the centre of a Court 
whose gaiety and splendour should recall the joyous 
days when Versailles was a synonym for all the 
delights which the heart could desire, was hailed 
with enthusiasm by the younger generation, who 
had listened with envy to the tales which their 
elders had told them of fites galantes and iles 
enchantees, and bemoaned their sad lot at being 
born into a world which had apparently forgotten 
how to be merry. Like some mountain torrent 
which has been dammed by the ice and snow of 
winter, and, with the return of spring, finds its 
swollen waters at length released, the long- 
repressed gaiety of Versailles seemed to burst forth 
in an overwhelming flood, sweeping away in its 
headlong career all ideas of prudence and modera- 
tion. Madame de Sevigne's old friend and corre- 
spondent Madame de Coulanges, in a letter to 
Madame de Grignan, thus describes the rage for 
pleasure which had taken possession of the Court : 

" You cannot conceive, Madame, the extent of 
the frenzy for all kinds of pleasure which now exists. 
The King wishes the Duchesse de Bourgogne to 
do exactly as she pleases from morning till night, 
and that is sufficient for her to give herself up to 
it to her heart's content. In consequence, one 
no longer hears of anything but visits to Marly 
and Meudon, and trips to Paris for the operas, the 
balls, and the masquerades ; and nobles who, 
so to speak, lay the knives on the table, in order 
to secure the good graces of the young princess. 
The ladies who take part in these pleasures have 
need, on their side, of having their finances in a 
sound condition, since expenses are quadrupled ; 
the materials of which the costumes worn at the 


masquerades are composed never cost less than 
from one hundred to one hundred and fifty francs 
an ell ; and when, by ill-luck, any one is obliged to 
appear twice in the same dress, people observe 
that they are sure that she only comes to Paris 
to wear her old clothes." 

The Duchesse de Bourgogne lived in a per- 
petual whirl of gaiety, and the Mercure describes, 
with a wealth of detail which no Society journal 
of our own day can hope to emulate, the magni- 
ficence of the balls which she graced with her 
presence. The young princess herself naturally 
occupies the chief place in these relations, where 
the writer rhapsodises, in turn, over her toilettes, 
her beauty, her grace, the charm of her manner, 
and the perfection of her dancing, until one is 
tempted to believe that so enchanting a creature 
had never before been seen on earth. 

Since dancing was her Royal Highness' s great 
delight, and there was no surer passport to her 
good graces than to offer her a ball, everybody 
wanted to give one ; and, though the Duchesse du 
Maine was in an interesting condition and com- 
pelled to keep her bed, this did not prevent her 
from giving " not less than twenty balls " in honour 
of the Duchesse de Bourgogne. The guests danced 
in her bedchamber, and it is not surprising to learn 
that the crush was terrible. Monseigneur, the 
Prince de Conde, the Due d'Antin, — Madame de 
Montespan's only legitimate son,^ — and, in fact, 
almost all the leaders of the Court, organised balls, 

1 Louis Antoine de Pardaillan de Gondrin. For an account 
of this personage, see the author's " Madame de Montespan " 
(London, Harpers ; New York, Scribners, 1903). 


that given by Monsieur le Prince being particularly 
successful. But, by common consent, the most 
brilliant f6te of the whole Carnival was one given by 
Madame de Pontchartrain [Madame la Chanceli^re) 
at the Hotel de la Chancellerie, on February 8, 
1700, who, says the Mercure, " contrived to com- 
bine in one evening all the diversions which are 
usually indulged in during the Carnival period, 
namely, those of comedy, fair, and ball." 

" When the evening came, detachments of Swiss, 
together with a number of Madame la Chanceliere' s 
servants were posted in the street and in the court- 
yard, so that there was no confusion either at the 
gates or in the courtyard, which was brilliantly 
illuminated by torches. On alighting from her 
coach, the Duchesse de Bourgogne was received 
by Monsieur le Chancelier, Madame la Chanceliere, 
their son, the Comte de Ponchartrain, and many of 
their friends and relatives, and conducted to the 
ballroom, which was lighted by ten chandeliers 
and magnificent gilded candelabra. At one end, 
on raised seats, were the musicians, hautboys, and 
violins, in fancy dress, with plumed caps. Above 
the fireplace was a full-length portrait of the 
Duchesse de Bourgogne. Beyond the ballroom 
was another room, brilliantly lighted, in which were 
hautboys and violins. This was reserved for the 
masks, whose numbers were such that the ball- 
room could not have contained them. 

" After remaining about an hour at the ball, 
Madame la Chanceliere and the Comte de Pont- 
chartrain escorted the Duchesse de Bourgogne into 
another room, filled with lights and mirrors, where 
a theatre had been erected to furnish the diversion 


of a little comedy, which Madame la Chancelilre 
had persuaded M. Dancourt to write expressly for 
this f^te. All the actors belonged to the Comedie- 
Frangaise. Their acting was perfection, and they 
were much applauded. 

" The comedy over, Madame la Chancelilre 
conducted the Duchesse de Bourgogne into another 
room, where a superb collation had been prepared 
in an ingenious manner. At one end of the room, 
in a semicircle, were five booths, kept by merchants 
attired in the costumes of different countries : a 
French pastrycook, a Provengal seller of oranges 
and lemons, an Italian limonadiere, a sweetmeat 
merchant, and an Armenian vendor of tea, coffee, 
and chocolate. They were from the King's mu- 
sicians, and chanted the merits of their wares to 
the accompaniment of music, while pages served 
the guests. . . . After the collation, as the ball- 
room was so crowded with masks, the Duchesse de 
Bourgogne returned to the room in which the 
comedy had been performed, and here a smaller 
ball was kept up until two o'clock. Then she went 
to the grand ball to see the masks, and amused 
herself there until five in the morning. When 
Madame la Chanceliere and the Comte de Pont- 
chartrain escorted her to the foot of the staircase, 
she informed them, in the most gracious manner, 
that the entertainment which they had just given 
her had afforded her great enjoyment, and that 
she was extremely pleased with it. Thus terminated 
this fgte, which brought Madame la Chanceliere 
many congratulations." ^ 

The little princess's passion for dancing seems 

1 Mercure de France, February 17CX). 


to have been quite insatiable, and, though there 
were balls on almost every night of the Carnival, 
she invariably danced until the small hours of the 
morning, and was quite offended if any of her 
friends wished to leave the ballroom before she 
did ; indeed, Saint-Simon tells us that when, on 
one occasion, he tried to slip away early, he was 
informed that she had given orders that he was not 
to be allowed to pass the doors. The chronicler 
adds that he and his wife passed the last three 
weeks of the Carnival " without seeing the day," 
and that when Ash Wednesday arrived, they were 
both completely worn out. 

Although dancing was at this time the Duchesse 
do Bourgogne's favourite diversion, she was also 
an enthusiastic playgoer; and, as theatrical repre- 
sentations were frequently given at Versailles, while 
during the annual sojourn of the Court at Fontaine- 
bleau a play was performed almost every evening, 
she had ample opportunities for gratifying her 
taste, without the necessity of making the journey 
to Paris. She also occasionally assisted at the 
amateur performances which the Duchesse du 
Maine had already inaugurated at the Chateau of 
Clagny, and which she subsequently continued 
with so much hlat at Sceaux ; and the applause 
which greeted the histrionic efforts of this enter- 
prising little lady inspired the princess with a 
desire to make her reappearance upon the boards, 
and in some more prominent role than that which 
she had filled at Saint-Cyr. Neither Louis xiv 
nor Madame de Maintenon would hear of her 
taking part in the representations at Clagny, to 
which not only the friends of the Duchesse du 


Maine, but even the public were admitted; but 
they had no objection to her pla5dng before them- 
selves and such persons as they should select ; 
and accordingly a little theatre was erected in the 
apartments of Madame de Maintenon, the audience 
being limited to the princes and princesses and a 
few of the most favoured courtiers. 

The theatre was inaugurated on December 5, 
1699, by the representation of Jonathas, a " de- 
votional play," in three acts, by Duche de Vancy, 
a protege of Madame de Maintenon, who wrote, 
at that lady's instigation, several pieces of a similar 
character for the demoiselles of Saint-Cyr. The 
Duchesse de Bourgogne was supported by Madame 
de Maintenon's niece, Frangoise d'Aubigne, who 
had married the Comte d'Ayen, eldest son of the 
Due de Noailles, her husband^ and other members 
of the Noailles family ; but, beyond this, we are 
given no information concerning the cast. The 
first representation was witnessed only by the 
King, Madame de Maintenon, Monsieur, and the 
ladies of the Duchesse de Bourgogne ; but, on the 
following evening, when a second performance was 
given, several other members of the Royal Family 
were present ; while ChamiUart, and Dangeau and 
his little son, the Marquis de Courcillon, were also 

Dangeau, who seems to have regarded the 
invitation which he and his son had received 
as a signal honour, tells us that the piece was 
excellently represented, and that the King and 
Monsieur " found it very touching." He praises 
the acting of the Comte and Comtesse d'Ayen, but, 
singularly enough, has nothing to say about that 


of the Duchesse de Bourgogne, from which we may 
infer that the young princess's performance must 
have left a good deal to be desired, even in the 
eyes of such an indulgent spectator as the Court 

Apart from giving a third performance of 
Jonathas some months later, the Duchesse de 
Bourgogne's company rested on its laurels for two 
years, when Absalon, another of Duche's religious 
tragedies, was produced. Much greater pains were 
taken to assure the success of this play than its 
predecessor ; the rehearsals occupied a whole month, 
and the celebrated actor Baron was engaged 
as stage-manager and " coach " to the young 
amateurs.^ The first performance took place on 
January 19, 1702, the Comte d'Ayen pla3dng the 
title - part ; the Comtesse d'Ayen, Thares, the 
wife of Absalon; the Due d' Orleans (the, future 
Regent), David ; and the Duchesse de Bourgogne, 
who was attired in a magnificent dress embroidered 
with all the Crown jewels,* Absalon's daughter ; 
while Baron was himself in the cast, though in a 
role of secondary importance. The audience on 
this occasion consisted of nearly forty persons, and 
included the King and Madame de Maintenon, 

1 Dangeau, Journal, December 5 and 6, 1699. 

* Baron, the most distinguished of all the pupils of Moli&re, 
had retired from the stage six years before, after a brilUantly suc- 
cessful career. Happily for the future of French acting, however, 
his retirement was not permanent, and in 1720 he returned to 
the theatre and rendered invaluable assistance to Adrienne 
Lecouvreur in her efforts to replace the inflated style of elocution 
then in vogue by " a declamation simple, noble, and natural." See 
the author's "Queens of the French Stage" (London, Harpers; 
New York, Scribners, 1905). 

8 Dangeau, Journal, January 19, 1702. 


nearly all the princes and princesses, the Duchesse 
de Bourgogne's ladies, and several members of the 
Noailles family. Thanks, in a great measure no 
doubt to Baron's careful tuition, the piece seems 
to have created a very favourable impression; 
and Madame assures Philip v of Spain that she 
" wept like a fool, and that the King had likewise 
great difficulty in restraining some tears." ^ 

Absalon was succeeded by a little comedy, 
in which the Duchesse de Bourgogne again ap- 
peared, though, in Madame's opinion, with less 
success than in the tragedy, which was represented 
on two other occasions. 

Encouraged by the success which had attended 
the performance of Absalon, the princess proposed 
to Madame de Maintenon that her company should 
attempt Athalie ; and, on the following February 
14, Racine's tragedy was played before Louis 
XIV and another distinguished company. The 
wife of President de Chailly, who had had the 
honour of " creating " the role of Athalie at Saint- 
Cyr, came from Paris, at Madame de Maintenon' s 
request, to undertake the title-part ; the Duchesse 
de Bourgogne played Josabeth ; the Comtesse 
d' Ayen, Salomith ; ^ her husband, Joad ; the little 

1 Letter of February 16, 1702. 

" We learn, from a letter of Madame de Maintenon to the Comte 
d'Ayen, that the Comtesse d'Ayen had been originally cast for the 
part of Josabeth, and the Duchesse de Bourgogne for that of Salo- 
mith ; but that the latter, who wished to play the more important 
r61e, thereupon declared her behef that the play was " too cold " 
to succeed, an opinion, however, which only lasted until Josabeth 
was given her. " The Duchesse de Bourgogne told me that she 
did not beheve that Athalie would be a success ; that it was a very 
cold play, and several other things which enable me to perceive, 
through the knowledge that I have of this Court, that her 'part 


Comte de Lesparre, second son of the Due de 
Guiche, Joas ; and the Due d' Orleans, Abner. 

The Mercure, to whom we owe these details, 
since Dangeau confines himself to the bare state- 
ment that " to-day the Duchesse de Bourgogne 
played in Athalie, in Madame de Maintenon's 
apartments," ^ distributes commendations all round 
with lavish hand, though its eulogy of the young 
princess contains a hint that she was more than a 
little nervous : 

" The Duchesse de Bourgogne played Josabel 
{sic) with all the grace and the intelligence 
imaginable, and, though her rank might have 
justified her in displaying more boldness than 
another, that which she has shown, merely to 
prove that she was mistress of her part, was always 
joined to a certain timidity, which ought perhaps 
to be accounted modesty rather than nervousness. 
The costumes of this princess were of great magnifi- 
cence ; nevertheless, one may say, that the stage 
was more adorned by her person than by the 
richness of her dresses." ^ 

A second performance of Athalie was given on 
the 23rd of the same month, and a third two days 
later, and with her appearance on the latter 
occasion the histrionic career of the Duchesse 
de Bourgogne came to an end. Whether the 
young princess had not met with quite the measure 

displeases her. She wants to play Josabeth, which she cannot play 
as well as the Comtesse d'Ayen. ... I told her that she need not 
undertake anything against her will in an amusement which was 
only arranged for her pleasure. She is dehghted and finds Athalie 
a very fine play." 

1 Journal, February 14, 1702. 

^ Mercure de France, February 1702. 


of success she had been led to anticipate, and 
was a Httle annoyed at finding her own efforts 
eclipsed, as they undoubtedly were, by her old 
friend the Comtesse d'Ayen, or whether Madame 
de Maintenon was tired of having the tranquillity 
of her apartments disturbed by the noise and 
confusion which the preparations for these per- 
formances entailed, and, after the little un- 
pleasantness we have mentioned, was no longer 
inclined to undertake the responsibiUty of organis- 
ing them, there were no more amateur theatricals 
at Versailles ; and the princess henceforth con- 
fined her interest in the drama to the role of 

But the drama, except during the annual 
visit of the Court to Fontainebleau, and dancing, 
save during the Carnival, were not pleasures which 
could be indulged in every evening of the week. 
There were, however, other methods of passing 
the time agreeably, and preventing young ladies 
with no taste for serious occupation from becoming 
bored, which were quite independent of the seasons ; 
and the most popular of these was play. 

The France of Louis xiv was remarkable for 
its passion for play ; and, if the vice were not quite 
so widespread as in the eighteenth century, the 
stakes were infinitely higher. " Play without 
limit and without regulation," said the celebrated 
Jesuit preacher Bourdaloue, in one of his sermons, 
" which is no longer an amusement, but a business, 
a profession, a trade, a fascination ; nay, if I 
may say so, a rage and a madness ; which brings 
inevitably in its train the neglect of duty, the 
ruin of families, the dissipation of fortunes, the 


mean trickery and knavery which result from 
greed of gain, insanity, misery, despair." ^ 

The Court in this matter set a deplorable 
example to the rest of the country, and the Royal 
Family a deplorable example to the Court. Even 
the devout Queen found it not inconsistent with 
her religious scruples to play for much higher 
sums than she could conveniently pay, and on 
her death, in 1683^ was found to have left debts 
of honour amounting to 100,000 ecus (300,000 
francs) behind her, which Louis xiv promptly 
discharged. Madame de S6vigne, writing in 1676, 
tells us that when the King played with the Court 
at reversi, the pools ranged from 500 to 1200 
louis, and each player began by contributing 
20 louis. But this semi-public gaming was a mere 
bagatelle to what went on in private, where such 
prodigious sums were won and lost as would seem 
scarcely credible, were they not vouched for by a 
score of witnesses. 

Madame de Montespan, who was one of 
the greatest gamblers of which history makes 
mention, thought nothing of winning or losing 
a million livres at bassette at a single sit- 
ting.^ On Christmas Day 1678, she lost 700,000 
ecus (2,100,000 francs) and at the beginning of 
the following March took part in company with 
Monsieur Bouyn — a wealthy financier of the time — 
and certain other kindred spirits in an all-night 
stance, at which the players staked as though 
they had the coffers of the State behind them : 

' Hurel, les Orateurs sacris d. la Cour de Louis xiv. 
* Madame de Montmorency to Bussy-Rabutin, December 9, 
1687, Correspondance de Bussy-Rabutin. 




" Madame de Montespan lost 400,000 pistoles 
[4,000,000 francs] playing against the bank, which, 
however, she eventually won back. At eight o'clock 
in the morning, Bouyn, who kept the bank, wished 
to stop, but the lady declared that she did not 
intend to go to bed until she had won back another 
100,000 pistoles which she owed him from a previous 
occasion. Monsieur only left Madame de Monte- 
span's apartments in time to attend the King's 
lever. The King paid 30,000 pistoles which 
Monsieur and Madame de Montespan still owed 
the other players." ^ 

The most consistently successful gambler at 
the Court was undoubtedly Dangeau, who, though 
he never appears to have indulged in any such 
orgies as the above, must have amassed a very 
large fortune at the card-table. "I saw Dangeau 
play," writes Madame de Sevigne to her daughter, 
" and could not help observing how awkward 
others appeared in comparison with him. He 
thinks of nothing but the game ; gains when others 
lose ; never throws a chance away ; profits by 
every mistake ; nothing escapes or distracts him. 
Thus, two hundred thousand francs in ten days, 
a hundred thousand ecus in a month, are added to 
his receipt-book." Another person who gained 
great wealth at play was Langlee, the son of a 
waiting-woman of Anne of Austria, who, by his 
skill and address, had succeeded in making his 
way into the very highest society. Neither he 
nor Dangeau ever fell under the suspicion of 
assisting Fortune, but as much cannot be said 

1 Letter of the Marquis de Trichateau to Bussy-Rabutin, March 
6, 1687, Correspondance de Bitssy-Rabutin. 


for several other successful players ; and we learn 
that in 1700 such unpleasant rumours were in 
circulation in regard to the persistent good-luck 
enjoyed by the Due d'Antin, that his mother, 
Madame de Montespan, fearing a scandal, persuaded 
him to renounce the card-table, in consideration 
of a substantial increase of his allowance. 

It might be supposed that Louis xiv's conversion 
would have been followed by some abatement 
of this evil, but the very opposite was the case. 
Recognising that his courtiers must have some 
amusement to replace the brilliant fetes which he 
had ceased to offer them, the King rather en- 
couraged than frowned upon the votaries of Chance, 
granted them certain dispensations of etiquette, 
such as permission to remain seated when he 
passed through the rooms where the card-tables 
were set out, and played himself for much higher 
stakes than in former days.^ 

The result of the absence of rival attractions 
and of the royal approval was that Versailles 
became a veritable hotbed of gambling, and about 
the time of the Princess Adelaide's arrival the 
mania for play seems to have reached its height. 
Lansquenet, a game which had hitherto been 
confined to the lower classes, had recently become 
the fashion at Court, and fortunes changed hands in 
the course of a single siance. " Here, in France," 
writes Madame, " so soon as people get together 
they do nothing but play lansquenet ; the young 
people no longer care about dancing. . . . They 

^ Dangeau and Sourches both mention a game of reversi, which 
the King played with Monseigneur, Monsieur, Dangeau, and Langlfee 
in the winter of 1 686-1 687, at which each player brought with 
him to the table a sum of 5000 pistoles. 


play here for frightful sums, and the players 
seemed bereft of their senses. One shouts at the 
top of his voice ; another strikes the table so 
violently with his fist that the whole room re- 
sounds ; a third blasphemes in a manner to make 
one's hair stand on end ; all appear beside them- 
selves, and it is horrible to watch them." ^ Brelan 
was another game much in vogue, and the Princesse 
de Conti had a brelan-party nearly every evening 
in her apartments. Both she and her half-sister, 
Madame la Duchesse, were terrible gamblers, and in 
May 1700 the latter wrote to Madame de Maintenon 
to tell her that she had lost " from 10,000 to 12,000 
pistoles, which it was impossible for her to pay just 
then." Madame de Maintenon showed the letter 
to the King, and begged him to come to his 
daughter's assistance. His Majesty consented, 
and, having directed Langlee, " whom Madame la 
Duchesse honoured with her confidence," to draw 
up and submit to him a detailed statement of the 
whole of the lady's liabilities, paid them in full, 
and without saying a word to the lady's husband, 
which was distinctly kind of him.^ 

With such examples all around her, it is not 
surprising that the Duchesse de Bourgogne should 
speedily have become a constant habitude of the 
card-table, nor that she should have been compelled 
to pay pretty dearly for her initiation into the 
mysteries of hombre, brelan, and lansquenet, since 
young ladies of fifteen or thereabouts are not 
generally endowed with the self-restraint which 

1 This was, of course, at private gambling-parties. When 
people played in the State apartments, the stakes were comparat 
ively moderate, and the utmost decorum was observed. 

" Dangeau, Journal, May 17, 1700. 


enables older and more experienced gamblers to 
cut their losses. Lansquenet was her passion, and 
the cause of her most disastrous reverses, and, 
singularly enough, about the same time that 
Madame la Duchesse found herself obliged to 
have recourse to the good ofi&ces of Madame de 
Maintenon to get her debts paid, the latter received 
a similar petition from the Duchesse de Bourgogne. 
We are not told the amount of the princess's 
liabilities, but it was no doubt very considerable; 
and since, according to Saint-Simon, she was very 
punctilious about her debts of honour, the matter 
must have caused her the keenest distress. How- 
ever, her appeal was successful, and, in acknow- 
ledging the money, she wrote the following grateful 
and contrite letter to Madame de Maintenon : — 

"Friday, Midnight, May 1700 
" I am in despair, my dear aunt, at always 
committing follies, and giving you reason to find 
fault with me. I am firmly resolved to correct 
myself, and not to play again at this wretched 
game [lansquenet], which serves only to damage 
my reputation and to diminish your affection, 
which is more precious to me than anything. I 
beg you, my dear aunt, not to speak to me about 
it, if I keep my resolution. If I fail only once, I 
shall be delighted for the King to forbid me the 
game, and to endure everything which may result 
from the bad impression which he will form of me. 
I shall never console myself for being the cause 
of your sufferings, and I shall not forgive this 
accursed lansquenet. 

" Pardon, then, my dear aunt, my past faults. I 
hope that my conduct hereafter will generally 
make amends for my follies, and that I shall be 


worthy of your affection. All that I shall desire 
in this world is to be a princess whose conduct 
renders her estimable, and this I shall strive to 
deserve in the future. I flatter myself that I am 
not yet too old, nor my reputation too tarnished, 
for me to succeed in time. I am overwhelmed 
by all your kindness, and by what you have sent 
me to enable me to pay my debts. ... I am in 
despair at having displeased you. I have aban- 
doned God, and He has abandoned me ; but I 
trust that, with His help, which I ask of Him 
with all my heart, I shall get the better of all my 
faults, and restore to you your health, which is 
so dear to me, and which I am the cause of your 
having lost. To my sorrow, I should not dare to 
flatter myself that you will forget my faults, nor 
to ask you to give me back again, my dear aunt, 
an affection of which I have rendered myself 
unworthy. I trust, however, that in time I shall 
merit it once more ; and I shall have no other 
occupation." ^ 

The Duchesse de Bourgogne was no doubt 
perfectly sincere in her expressions of penitence 
and her resolution to amend her ways. But 
circumstances proved too strong for her, and, 
though she certainly did renounce lansquenet for a 
season, hombre, brelan, and reversi — in which last 
game Dangeau tells us that he had the honour of 
giving her lessons — seem to have provided her 
with ample opportunities for dissipating her super- 
fluous cash, and often a good deal that was not 
superfluous ; and, some eighteen months later, 
we learn that " high play is stiU her dominant 

1 Melanges de litterature et d'histoire, published by the Societe 
des Bibliophiles Frangais ; Comte d'Haussonville, la Duchesse de 
Bourgogne et l' Alliance savoyarde sous Louis xiv. 


passion." ^ Finally, lansquenet reasserted its fatal 
fascination, and in the summer of 1707 her desire 
to indulge in this dangerous pastime led her to 
represent to Madame de Maintenon that a 
gambling orgy to which she had been invited by 
Madame la Duchesse at La Bretesche, a little 
village between Versailles and Marly, was merely 
an innocent hunting-collation, which piece of de- 
ception so angered the King that he forbade her 
to play the game again. Under date July 16, 
1707, Madame de Maintenon writes to Madame 
de Dangeau : — 

"It is to speak to the Duchesse de Bourgogne 
that I asked you to postpone your visit to Paris 
until to-morrow. The King told me yesterday 
that he had been surprised to find the card-players 
at La Bretesche, so I knew that the Duchesse 
de Bourgogne had been deceiving me. . . . The 
King said to me : ' Was not a dinner, a ride, a 
hunt, and a collation enough for one day ? ' Then 
he added, after a little reflection, ' I shall do well 
to tell these gentlemen that they are not paying 
their court to me in an acceptable way by playing 
cards with the Duchesse de Bourgogne.' I told 
him that lansquenet had always been a source of 
trouble to me, from my fear lest it should lead 
her to do something which might injure her and 
place her in an equivocal position. We then 
talked of other matters, but the King returned to 
the subject and said to me : ' Ought I not to 
speak to these gentlemen ? ' I answered that I 
thought that such a step would hurt the Duchesse 
de Bourgogne, and that it would be better for 

^ Madame de Maintenon to the Princesse de Soubise, December 
1701, in GeSroy, Madame de Maintenon d'apres sa correspondance 



him to speak to her and keep the affair a secret. 
He told me that he would do so to-day, and it 
is in order to warn her, Madame, that I have 
begged you to remain. Here we are then, and, 
sooner than I expected, on the verge of that 
estrangement which I have always dreaded. The 
King will think that he has offended her by for- 
bidding her to play lansquenet, and will be more 
distant to her ; and it is certain that she will 
be angry and more cold towards him. I shall 
think the same, but I am not yet sufficiently in- 
different to the world's good opinion as to suffer 
it to believe that I approve of such conduct . . ." ^ 

The incessant pursuit of pleasure in which the 
Duchesse de Bourgogne continued to pass her 
days : balls, fetes, card-parties, the chase, visits 
to the Opera and the Comedie-Frangaise, ex- 
peditions to the fairs in and around Paris, water 
excursions, collations at the Menagerie, picnics 
in the forests of Marly and Fontainebleau, and so 
forth, not only left her no time for any useful 
occupation, and fostered a craving for novelty 
and excitement which, as will be seen hereafter, 
she sometimes carried to dangerous lengths, but 
was exceedingly injurious to her health, since it 
frequently entailed a good deal of physical exer- 
tion and the keeping of very late hours. Even 
to a young girl of robust constitution such a life 
would have been a severe strain, and the Duchesse 
de Bourgogne was naturally delicate. Moreover, 
as we have already mentioned, she had very bad 
teeth and suffered severely from toothache, from 

1 Gefiroy, Madame de Maintenon d'apres sa correspondance 


which, as the science of dentistry was then in its 
infancy, she was never able to obtain any permanent 
rehef, and also from what would appear to have 
been an acute form of indigestion. During the 
first three years which followed her marriage, she 
had several slight attacks of fever, and in the first 
week of August 1701 fell seriously ill, the result, 
according to Saint-Simon, of having bathed in the 
Seine immediately after she had eaten a quantity 
of fruit. 

The Court was then on the point of starting 
for Marly, and, although quite unfit to leave her 
bed, she would not hear of the visit being postponed 
or of being left behind. On the 9th — the day after 
arriving at Marly — she was in a high fever, which 
lasted until late on the following day, when, as 
the result of the administration of an emetic, she 
took a turn for the better, and Fagon, who attended 
her, confidently asserted that all danger was over. 
However, on the 13th she had a relapse, and 
speedily became delirious, and, though the violent 
remedies to which Fagon had recourse brought 
her back to consciousness, they reduced her to 
such a pitiably weak condition that she believed 
her case to be hopeless and asked for her confessor. 
As that worthy man had not accompanied the 
Court to Marly, and some hours must elapse before 
he could arrive, it was judged advisable to send 
for the cure of the parish, " to whom she made 
her confession, and with whom she was very 
satisfied." ^ 

The King and Madame de Maintenon were in 
despair, and the grief of the Due de Bourgogne 

' Dangeau, Journal, August 13, 1701. 


was such that even Madame, between whom and 
the young princess there was very little love lost, 
could not refrain from weeping with him.^ The next 
day, however, she was much better, and on the i6th 
she was pronounced convalescent, and Dangeau 
reports that " the Duchesse de Bourgogne is very 
gay, and not so weak as might be expected after so 
severe an illness and so many remedies." ^ Never- 
theless, her convalescence, through which she was 
nursed by Madame de Maintenon with a devotion 
to which even Saint-Simon renders justice, was a 
long one, and it was some weeks before she was 
able to leave her room. 

It might be supposed that this narrow escape 
would have served as a warning to the young lady 
of the danger of constantly drawing bills upon 
Nature ; but no sooner was she restored to health, 
than she resumed her pursuit of pleasure with all 
the zest begotten of long abstinence ; nor does 
Madame de Maintenon, though she admits that the 
girl's illness " must be considered as a result of the 
irregular life which she was leading," appear to 
have made any effort to restrain her. 

1 Letter oi Madame to the Raugravine Luise, August 14, 1701. 
Correspondance de Madame, Duchesse d'Orleans (edit. Jaegle). 
^Journal, August 16, 1701. 


Death and testament of Carlos ii of Spain — Louis xiv resolves 
to accept the succession to the throne of Spain on behalf of his 
grandson, Philippe, Ducd'Anjou — "Iln'yaplus de PyrSnSes / " — The 
new king treated at the French Court as a foreign sovereign — 
His parting present to the Duchesse de Bourgogne — His departure 
for Madrid — Position of Victor Amadeus ii in regard to the Spanish 
succession (1696- 1700) — His designs on the Milanese — He seeks 
to obtain a promise from Louis xiv to secure this province for 
him on the death of Carlos 11 — His claims ignored in the First 
Partition Treaty — The death of the Electoral Prince of Bavaria 
revives his hopes — His indignation at being excluded from the 
benefits of the Second Partition Treaty — Negotiations between 
Savoy and France for the cession of the Milanese to the Duke 
interrupted by the death of Carlos 11 — Anger of Victor Amadeus 
against Louis xiv — His equivocal behaviour — He is constrained 
by France to enter into a fresh alliance which offers him no hope 
of an increase of territory 

ON November g, 1700, news reached Fontaine- 
bleau, where the Court was then in residence, 
that the childless Carlos 11 of Spain was 
dead, and that, by a will which he had signed on 
the preceding October 7, the whole of the vast 
dominions of the Spanish crown had been be- 
queathed to Philippe, Due d'Anjou, the second son 
of the Dauphin.^ On the following day, a solemn 
council was held to decide whether France was to 
accept or reject the Will, to which were summoned 

^ The Dauphin had formally renounced his claims in favour of 
his second son, while the Emperor Leopold had done likewise in 
favour of his second son, the Archduke Charles. 


the Chancellor Pontchartrain, Beauvilliers, President 
of the Council of Finance, Torcy, Minister for Foreign 
Affairs, Monseigneur, and Madame de Maintenon. 
The Council was divided. Torcy and Monseigneur 
were strongly in favour of acceptance ; Beauvilliers 
declared his conviction that such a course would 
inevitably be followed by a war which would cause 
the ruin of France ; the Chancellor confined him- 
self to a judicial survey of the whole situation, 
and concluded by begging to be excused from 
committing himself either way; while Madame de 
Maintenon does not appear to have spoken at all, 
nor ever to have expressed a decided opinion, at any 
rate publicly, and the part she played in this 
matter, as in so many others, remains an enigma. 

It is probable that Louis xiv had already 
decided in the af&rmative, and that the arguments 
to which he listened had little effect upon him. 
Any way, on the 12th a despatch was sent to 
Madrid conveying his Majesty's acceptance of the 
Will on behalf of his grandson, and the Spanish 
Ambassador was informed of the momentous 
decision which had been arrived at. This, however, 
was not made public until the morning of the i6th, 
the day after the Court had returned to Versailles, 
when Louis xiv, at his lever, presented the Due 
d'Anjou to the expectant crowd of courtiers and 
diplomatists as Philip v of Spain, and the Spanish 
Ambassador uttered those celebrated words, which 
many historians still persist in putting into the 
mouth of Louis himself : " II n'y a plus de Pyrenees ; 
elles sont abimSes I" ^ 

1 " The Ambassador threw himself at his [the Due d'Anjou's] 
feet, and kissed his hand, his eyes filled with tears of joy ; and, 


From that hour until the 'departure of the new 
monarch to take possession of his inheritance, he 
was treated in all respects as a foreign sovereign; 
and the lad, who only a few hours before had been 
under the authority of his gouverneur, became 
forthwith the equal of his grandfather and the 
superior of his brothers. Louis xiv, indeed, took 
pleasure in emphasising the new position which his 
grandson occupied, and on the first evening insisted 
on accompanying him to the door of his bed- 
chamber, where he observed as he parted from him : 
" Je souhaite que sa Majeste repose Men cette nuit! " 
However, the comic side of the situation proved too 
much for Louis's gravity, and he was unable to 
repress a smile. 

Visits of ceremony were exchanged between the 
King of Spain and the different members of the 
Royal Family precisely as though he had been a 
foreign sovereign newly arrived at the Court, and, 
though the three young princes lived on terms of 
the greatest familiarity and affection, the rigid 
etiquette of the time did not permit them to forego 
a single detail of the formalities prescribed for these 
occasions. Thus, during the visit which Philip 
paid to the Due de Bourgogne, both brothers 
remained standing the whole time, and the same 
uncomfortable custom was observed when he 
visited the Due de Berry. In the case of the 
Duchesse de Bourgogne, however, etiquette was 
relaxed, not improbably because that young lady 
had intimated to his Catholic Majesty that she 

having risen, he made his son and the Spaniards of his suite advance 
and do likewise. Then he cried : ' Quelle joie ! il n'y a plus de 
Pyr6n&es, elles sont aMmees, et nous ne sommes plus qu'un.' " Mercure 
de France, October 1700. 


preferred to be seated when there was no useful 
object to be served by standing ; and their visits 
were exchanged without any ceremony whatever. 

The princess's behaviour towards the new King, 
indeed, was sadly wanting in respect, for, shortly 
afterwards, she secreted herself in the ruelle of the 
royal bed to listen to an address of congratulation 
with which the Academy was to present him. How- 
ever, his Majesty would not appear to have re- 
sented this familiarity, and, a few days before his 
departure for Spain, he begged her to accept, as a 
souvenir of the close friendship which had always 
existed between them, a pair of magnificent diamond- 
earrings, which had been left him by his mother, 
the ill-fated Bavarian Dauphine, having first, 
Dangeau tells us, consulted Madame de Maintenon 
"to know if this present were not too insigni- 
ficant." ^ 

On December 4, Philip v set out on his long 
journey to Madrid, accompanied by the Dues de 
Bourgogne and de Berry, and an imposing escort, 
under the command of Beauvilliers. The King 
parted from his brothers, neither of whom he was 
ever to see again on earth, at Saint-Jean-de-Luz, 
whence they returned to Versailles by way of 
Languedoc and Provence, this circuitous route 
being selected in order that the Due de Bourgogne 
might make himself acquainted with as much of 
France as possible ; while the young sovereign 
continued his journey to his capital, which he 
reached in safety on February 18, 1701. Before 
the year had run half its course the Imperialists 
had invaded the Milanese, and that long and 

1 Dangeau, Journal, November 27, 1700. 


sanguinary struggle known as the War of the 
Spanish Succession had begun. 

We have no intention of entering here upon the 
vexed question of how far Louis xiv was morally 
and politically justified in accepting the crown 
of Spain for his grandson, in defiance of the terms 
of the Second Partition Treaty,^ nor of discussing 
whether the series of provocative steps afterwards 
taken by him, which caused England and Holland 
to range themselves on the side of the Emperor, 
who, without their co-operation, would have been 
powerless to offer any effective opposition to the 
accession of Philip v, were merely the result of 
" the fumes of pride which had mounted to his 
brain and obscured his judgment," ^ as so many 
French writers would have us believe, or " all 
parts of a definite policy, which arose out of a sure 
belief that war must result from the Spanish Will," * 
which seems to be the opinion of most English 
historians. Such questions naturally lie beyond 
the scope of a volume which is concerned mainly 
with the Duchesse de Bourgogne and with matters 
which affected her more or less directly; and we 
shall therefore confine ourselves to a brief account 
of the events which led up to the rupture of the 

1 By the Second Partition Treaty, which was signed by England, 
France, and Holland in May 1700, the contracting parties agreed 
that, on the death of Carlos 11, the Due d'Anjou should receive 
the Two SiciUes, the Tuscan ports, Giupuscoa, and the Milanese, 
the last-named territory to be handed over to the Duke of Lorraine 
in exchange for his duchy, which was already, to all intents and 
purposes, a French fief ; while the Archduke Charles was to have 
Spain, the Spanish Netherlands, and the Indies. 

2 Comte d'Haussonville, la Duchesse de Bourgogne et I' Alliance 
savoyarde sous Louis xiv. 

3 Kitchin, History of France, vol. iii. 


peace of 1696 between France and Savoy and 
caused Victor Amadeus 11 to return to his old allies. 
But, to explain this more clearly, it will be 
necessary for us to go back to the time of the 

The ambitious and enterprising ruler of Savoy 
was not the man to stand aside when so momentous 
a question as the disposal of the vast possessions 
of the Spanish crown was occupying the attention 
of Europe, nor could it be denied that he possessed 
sufficient reason to justify his intervention. He 
was himself a relative of Carlos 11, beirig descended 
from the Infanta Catherine, daughter of Philip 
II, who had married, in 1585, Charles Emmanuel 
I, Duke of Savoy ; and the Will of Philip iv, while 
excluding his daughter Maria Theresa, Queen of 
France, and her children from the succession, had 
provided that, in the event of the death without 
issue of his son Carlos, his third daughter Margaret 
Theresa, wife of the Emperor Leopold i, and his 
sister the Empress Maria Anna, widow of the 
Emperor Ferdinand iii, the crown should descend 
to the Duchess of Savoy. The right of Philip 
IV to dispose thus in advance of the inheritance 
of his son was disputed, and, even if it had been 
admitted, there were, in 1696, two princes with 
superior claims between Victor Amadeus and the 
succession, namely, Joseph Ferdinand, the Electoral 
Prince of Bavaria, and the Archduke Charles. 
Nevertheless, the fact of the Duke's descent from 
the Infanta Catherine certainly entitled him to 
consideration, if the Powers of Europe were to 
decide upon a partition of the Spanish mon- 


And the part of the Spanish monarchy which 
he coveted was the Milanese, the great object of 
the ambition of his House in those far-off days 
before Savoy had felt the yoke of France. That 
yoke once lifted and Pinerolo and Casale wrested 
from the grip of his western neighbour, Victor 
Amadeus turned longing eyes towards the fertile 
plains of Lombardy, and in the treaty of 1696 
he persuaded Louis xiv to consent to the insertion 
of a secret article, which stipulated that, " in the 
event of the death of the Catholic King [Carlos 
II of Spain], without children, during the course of 
the present war, his Most Christian Majesty [Louis 
xiv] would undertake to render every possible 
assistance to his Royal Highness [Victor Amadeus] 
to obtain the Milanese," and that, " in the event 
of the death of the said Catholic King, he would 
renounce all pretensions, whether by conquest or 
otherwise, to the Duchy of Milan." ^ 

Although the sickly Carlos 11 survived the war, 
and thus freed Louis xiv from the obligations 
which this article imposed, Victor Amadeus con- 
sidered that he still remained under a kind of 
moral obligation to secure the Milanese for his 
nephew, and all his energies were henceforth 
directed to obtaining a fresh and binding promise. 

However, for some time he could secure nothing 
more satisfactory from Louis than an assurance 
that, when the death of the King of Spain occurred, 
he would " find him favourably disposed to every- 
thing which might contribute to his personal 
advantage " ; and his indignation was intense when, 

'■ Comte d'Haussonville, la Duchesse de Bourgogne et I'alliance 
Savoyards sous Louis xiv. 


in the autumn of 1698, he learned of the terms af 
the First Partition Treaty, concluded between 
England and France and subsequently ratified 
by Holland, whereby the Spanish dominions were 
divided between the Electoral Prince of Bavaria, 
the Due d'Anjou, and the Archduke Charles, and 
his own claims were entirely ignored.^ Nor does 
he appear to have been at all mollified when news 
came that Carlos 11, so far from being grateful 
for the forethought of their Majesties of England 
and France in drawing up his will for him, had 
answered the Partition Treaty by leaving the 
whole of his possessions to the Electoral Prince; 
and he intimated very plainly to the French 
Ambassador at Turin that, if his master con- 
templated taking up arms to oppose the Bavarian 
prince's succession, he must expect no help from 
him. But the death of Joseph Ferdinand, in 
January 1699, entirely changed the situation and 
revived the hopes of Victor Amadeus, who could 
with difficulty conceal his joy, since he was con- 
vinced that, whether a partition or a regular 
succession was to be the ultimate fate of the 
Spanish monarchy, his claims could now no longer 
be overlooked. 

That he had grounds for this belief is proved 
by the despatches of Louis xiv to Tallard, the 
French Ambassador at St. James's, wherein he 
suggests that Victor Amadeus should have the 
Two Sicilies, in exchange for Nice and Savoy, which 
were to be ceded to France, or even the crown 

1 This Treaty stipulated that the Electoral Prince was to have 
Spain, the Spanish Netherlands, and the Indies ; the Due d'Anjou 
was to receive the Two Sicilies, the Tuscan ports, Finale, and Giu- 
puscoa ; and the Archduke Charles, the Milanese. 


of Spain, with the Indies, provided that Piedmont 
were also surrendered. 

But nothing came of these proposals, chiefly 
no doubt because they tended to make France 
more formidable than ever to Austria, but also 
because neither William iii nor the Emperor had for- 
given the defection of Victor Amadeus three years 
before, and regarded with anything but favour 
the suggested aggrandisement of their faithless ally. 

And so the Duke of Savoy had the mortifica- 
tion to find himself excluded from the benefits 
of the Second Partition Treaty, as he had been 
from its predecessor, and his indignation at what 
he considered to be his betrayal by Louis xiv 
was in proportion to his disappointment. When 
Phelypeaux, the French Ambassador at Turin, 
was instructed by his master to obtain his ad- 
hesion to the treaty, it was refused, Victor Amadeus 
observing ironically that he was " too smaU a 
prince to enter into so important an affair, in which 
it had not been thought necessary to give him 
either part or portion " ; and the Ambassador 
wrote to Versailles that he was informed that in 
the privacy of his apartments the Duke had 
abandoned himself to transports of rage. 

The attitude of Victor Amadeus caused Louis xiv 
considerable uneasiness, since, in view of possible 
complications with Austria, it was of the highest 
importance to France to be able to count upon 
the alliance of the prince who held the keys of 
the Alps. When, therefore, it was suggested that 
he should undertake to secure such amendment of 
the Partition Treaty as would meet the Duke's 
wishes in regard to the Milanese, he lent a very 


favourable ear to the proposal, and, as the result 
of numerous conferences between Torcy and Ver- 
none — who had been sent as Ambassador of Savoy 
to Versailles in the summer of 1699 — it was arranged 
that the Duke of Lorraine should receive the Two 
Sicilies instead of the Milanese, which, it will be 
remembered, was to be the price of the cession of 
his duchy to France, and that the Milanese should 
be given to Victor Amadeus, Louis xiv receiving 
in exchange Savoy and the county of Nice. An 
alliance offensive and defensive was also to be 
signed between France and Savoy. 

Such an arrangement was not only highly 
advantageous to the Duke of Savoy, but equally 
so to France, since it enabled Louis xiv to extend 
his frontiers on the south-east, as well as on the 
side of Germany. But, unfortunately, Victor 
Amadeus, instead of being satisfied with the pro- 
spect of realising the dream of his ancestors and 
exchanging his thinly-populated dominions on the 
western side of the Alps for the wealthiest State 
of Northern Italy, desired to get possession of 
Montferrato ^ and Finale as well, and also to retain 
the valley of Barcellonnette, which would give him 
access to France. These new demands caused the 
negotiations to be protracted for many months,^ 
and, though, on learning that the King of Spain was 
in extremis, the Duke realised the fatal mistake he 

1 Montferrato formed part of the Duchy of Mantua. Victor 
Amadeus considered that he had an hereditary claim upon it. 

" Louis XIV was himself partly responsible for the delay, since 
he desired Pinerolo to be included in the cession of Savoy and 
Nice, but it was understood that he would not insist on this, if 
Victor Amadeus were prepared to surrender the valley of Bar- 
cellonnette and withdraw his pretensions to Montferrato and 


had committed and endeavoured to repair it, it 
was then too late, and neither of the treaties had 
been signed when the news of the death and testa- 
ment of Carlos ii reached Fontainebleau. 

These events destroyed all hope of Victor 
Amadeus obtaining the Milanese by the aid of 
France, since no sane person could imagine that 
Louis XIV would be so ill-advised as to compel his 
grandson to incur the odium of his new subjects by 
dismembering the Spanish monarchy, in order to 
satisfy the cupidity of the Duke of Savoy. This 
the French Ambassador at Turin did not fail to 
point out to the mortified prince ; but the latter 
elected to pose as a singularly ill-used person, and 
told Phelypeaux, in very plain terms, that he 
refused to admit his Most Christian Majesty's right 
to repudiate his engagements. 

As the weeks went by, and Victor Amadeus, not- 
withstanding Louis's assurance that he would "lose no 
opportunity of furthering his interests ' ' and a promise 
to secure the payment of considerable sums long due 
from Spain to Savoy, declined to be placated, the 
King became seriously alarmed, for the Imperialists 
were preparing to invade the Milanese, and, unless 
the Duke of Savoy were willing to open the Alpine 
passes to the French troops, the Spanish forces 
in that State might be completely crushed before 
their allies could come to their assistance. He 
accordingly directed Phelypeaux to sound the Duke 
upon the matter, but neither he nor Tesse, who 
visited Turin on his way to Milan to confer 
with the Prince de Vaudemont,* the Governor of 

' He was a natural son of Charles iv of Lorraine and Beatrix 
de Cantecroix, and had entered the service of Spain. 


the Milanese, in regard to the approaching cam- 
paign, were able to obtain from him any satis- 
factory assurances. " The King of France," he told 
Phelypeaux, " was so powerful that he did not 
need his consent to march his troops through his 
States." But when the Ambassador spoke of the 
arrangements necessary for provisioning the French 
troops during their passage through Savoy and 
Piedmont, he replied angrily that he was not an 
army-contractor, and that he declined to concern 
himself with such matters.^ 

Greatly irritated by this response, and in the 
belief that Victor Amadeus was meditating, even 
if he had not already begun, negotiations with the 
Emperor, Louis xiv now directed Phelypeaux to 
demand an unconditional passage for his Majesty's 
forces through the Duke's States, and to offer him, 
as the price of his alliance, the marriage of his 
second daughter, Maria Luisa, — known as the 
Princess of Piedmont, then in her thirteenth year, 
with the young King of Spain, and the title of 
Generalissimo of the French and Spanish troops 
in Italy during the forthcoming year, together with 
a subsidy of 50,000 6cus a month, on condition that 
he placed 3500 cavalry and 8000 infantry in the 

These propositions were very far from satis- 
factory to Victor Amadeus, who considered that 
the services which were in his power to render 
merited a much higher recompense than a marriage 
which, though flattering to his family pride, was 
evidently intended to chain him to the side of 

> Despatch of Phelypeaux to Louis xiv, January 26, 1701, cited 
by Hausson villa. 


France and Spain and destroy his hopes of terri- 
torial aggrandisement.^ He therefore strove to 
secure the insertion of a secret article in the pro- 
posed treaty of alliance, stipulating that if, at the 
conclusion of the war, the Milanese were allotted 
to France, any of the Italian princes, or the Duke 
of Lorraine, Louis xiv would secure its cession to 
him, in exchange for Savoy, Nice, and the valley 
of Barcelonnette. Louis xiv, however, not only 
expressed his inability to comply with this demand, 
but declined to hold out to the Duke any hope 
of an increase of territory whatever ; and the treaty 
presented for his acceptance contained a clause 
providing for the maintenance of the status quo 
ante helium in Italy. 

That in directing the insertion of this clause, 
the King committed a grave error of judgment 
cannot be doubted, for Phelypeaux had warned 
him that the refusal of the Milanese would pro- 
bably result in driving Victor Amadeus into the 
arms of the Emperor, and he could therefore have 
been under no illusion as to the real sentiments 
of his ally. Nevertheless, Victor Amadeus ac- 
cepted the terms offered him (April 6, 1701), since, 
with the French on one side of him and the Spanish 
forces in the Milanese on the other, and the Im- 
perialists still on the farther side of the Alps, to 
refuse would have been worse than folly. But he 
did so with a bitter heart, and with the full deter- 
mination to turn his back upon his allies the 
moment his interests justified such a step ; indeed, 
scarcely was the ink dry upon the parchment of 

' Costa de Beauregard, MSmoires de la Maison de Savoie. 


the treaty, than he sent instructions to his Ambas- 
sador at Vienna to represent to the Emperor 
that he had acted wholly under constraint, and 
to pave the way for the defection which he medi- 


Life of the Due de Bourgogne — Brief period of frivolity, 
terminated by the serious ilhiess of his wife, which he regards 
as a judgment upon him — His increasing austerity : renunciation 
of dancing and the theatre, and finally of play, except for trifling 
sums — ^His piety — His exaggerated scruples — Impatience of the 
Duchesse de Bourgogne with the conduct of her husband — Extra- 
ordinary diffidence of the duke towards women encourages her and 
her ladies to indulge in practical jokes at his expense — Fondness 
of the duchess for practical joking — Her persecution of the Princesse 
d'Harcourt — Beginning of hostihties in Flanders and Alsace — The 
Due de Bourgogne placed in nominal command of the French army 
in Flanders — His interview with Fenelon at Cambrai — First 
campaign of the young prince — He is associated with Tallard in 
the command of part of the Army of the Rhine ; but their connec- 
tion is not a fortunate one — The taking of Brisach — The duke's 
intense desire to see his wife the true explanation of his return 
for Versailles before the conclusion of the campaign — His pathetic 
letters from the army to the duchess's confidante, Madame de 

THE life of the Due de Bourgogne presented a 
singular contrast to that of his light-hearted 
little wife. It is true that for the first 
year or two after his emancipation from the 
authority of his gouverneur his new-found liberty 
was not without its attractions, and he availed him- 
self pretty freely of the permission now accorded 
him to participate in all the pleasures of the Court. 
Thus, we hear of him accompanying his father 
to the Opera, of which Monseigneur was a great 
supporter, and even of taking part in an amateur 
performance of LuUi's Alceste in the apartments 


of the Princesse de Conti ; of attending balls and 
masquerades, and of winning and losing consider- 
able sums at the card- table. 

But this period of frivolity did not survive the 
serious illness of his wife in August 1701, which 
he appears to have regarded as a judgment of 
God for having permitted himself to be ensnared 
by worldly pleasures, and a solemn warning to him 
to abandon them and allow nothing but religion 
and duty to occupy his time and thoughts : — 

" I began to pray to God," he writes to Beau- 
villiers ; "I bemoaned in His presence my sins, 
for I firmly believe that He was punishing me 
for them by this means. I beseeched Him to 
cast on me the burden of them all, and to spare 
this poor innocent ; and that, if she had committed 
any sins, to let me bear the iniquity of them. He 
had pity upon me, and, thank God, the Duchesse 
de Bourgogne is entirely out of danger. ... I 
cease not to thank God for this benefit, since it is 
obvious that He intended to punish me, but that 
he stayed His wrath, and had compassion upon 
me." ^ 

From that time, the Due de Bourgogne gradually 
withdrew from the pleasures of the Court, and 
lived a life of increasing austerity. He began 
by giving up dancing on the ground " that it was 
his misfortune to lack adroitness at that exercise," ^ 
and only appeared at those balls where etiquette 
required him to be present. Next, he ceased to 
visit the Opera or the theatre, and, not content 

1 Mcirquis de Vogiie, le Due de Bourgogne et le Due de Beau- 
villiers (Paris, 1 900). 
^ Dangeau. 


with abstaining from this form of amusement 
himself, endeavoured to persuade those of the 
courtiers with whom he was most intimate to follow 
his example. Finally, though not without con- 
siderable effort, since, like his wife, he had caught 
the gambling fever in a rather severe form,^ he 
resolved to renounce play, or rather those games 
at which the stakes generally ruled high, and to 
confine himself to playing for small sums, while, 
in the event of losing, he made a rule of settling 
his debts before leaving the table. As he was a 
very unlucky player, it was his custom to select 
his opponents from among the poorer members 
of the Court, to whom the money they might win 
from him would be of assistance, and thus his 
gambling may be regarded as a delicate form of 

The only fashionable pastimes, indeed, in which 
his conscience appears to have permitted him 

1 Dangeau tells us that in 1702 the duke had to apply to the 
King for money to pay his card-debts, and that his Majesty gave 
him more than he asked for, at the same time telUng him " to play 
without anxiety, since money would not fail him." 

' It may seem at first sight not a little singular that the Due 
de Bourgogne should have been able to reconcile gambling far 
more easily with his conscience than attendance at the play. But it 
should be remembered that to the bulk of the French clergy, and 
to many of the devout, the theatre was anathema (see the author's 
" Queens of the French Stage ") ; while that, on the other hand, 
the attitude of so many worthy people to-day, whose principles 
will not permit them to indulge in even the most modest rubber, 
would have been as unintelligible to a Frenchman of the early 
eighteenth century as the idea that a man should refuse to drink 
a glass of wine, because many of his fellows are guilty of excess in 
this respect. As a matter of fact, both Saint-Simon and the duke's 
two panegr5dcal biographers, Martineau and Proyart, are fain 
to admit that their hero was, not only a great eater, hke all the 
Bourbons, but a lover of good wine as well, and that he thought it 
no sin to be merry with his friends. 


to indulge freely were hunting and shooting, 
though, unhke his father, he took care that his 
love of the chase should never interfere with his 
duties, and was so generous in the matter of 
compensation for any damage which he or his 
gentlemen might happen to commit, that it is to 
be feared that those over whose land he rode not 
infrequently took advantage of him. 

Never since the time of Louis xiii had the 
Court of France seen so pious a prince. He passed 
hours every day in prayer and in the study of the 
Scriptures and devotional works ; he composed 
Reflexions four chaque jour de la semaine ; he 
was often closeted with his confessor for a couple 
of hours at a time ; he attended three services 
on Sunday, and kept the day almost as strictly 
as a Puritan ; he communicated every Sunday and 
every Saint's Day, always in the splendid costume 
of the Order of the Saint-Esprit, that he might 
do more honour to the Sacrament; and, though 
so fond of good cheer at other seasons, he fasted 
in Lent until he became, according to Madame, 
" thin as a packing-stick." 

Unfortunately, the Due de Bourgogne forgot 
that the life of a saint is scarcely compatible with 
the duties of a prince, and Saint-Simon deplores 
" the ever-increasing devotion which inspired him 
with an austerity which went beyond all bounds, 
and often gave him, without his perceiving it, 
the air of a censor " ; while his confessor and 
biographer, Pere Martineau, admits that " his 
scruples entailed inconveniences." ^ 

The duke's exaggerated scruples, indeed, some- 

1 Pere Martineau, Recueil des vertus du due de Bourgogne, etc. 


times rendered him ridiculous in the eyes of most 
of the Court, and were condemned even by his 
devout friends. Thus, on Twelfth-Night 1702, he 
declined to attend a ball at which the King had 
expressed a desire that he should be present, and 
persisted in his refusal, although the austere 
Beauvilliers himself endeavoured to persuade him 
to waive his objections on this particular occasion, 
out of deference to his Majesty's wishes.^ 

The growing austerity of the young prince 
was scarcely likely to appeal to his merry little 
consort, who was quite unable to understand 
his attitude towards amusements which were 
countenanced even by persons the sincerity of 
whose religious convictions could not be doubted. 
In the early days of their married life, she had 
endeavoured, though without much success, to 
S3mipathise with his serious views, and, if she 
frequently rallied him upon his scruples, she at 
heart respected them. But when she found that 
they prevented him from accompanying her to 
baU or play, and that he preferred to spend long 
hours in his cabinet in prayer and meditation to 
joining in her amusements ; when she learned 
from her confidantes that the semi-monastic 
existence which he persisted in leading was a 
subject of ridicule with the younger members of 
the Court, she became impatient and a little con- 
temptuous, and did not hesitate to express openly 
her opinion of such exaggerated piety. " I 
should like to die before the Due de Bourgogne," 
she observed one evening to her ladies, " but to 
see, nevertheless, what would happen here. I 

'■-^ ' Saint-Simon, MSmoires. j 


am certain that he would marry a soeur grise^ 
or a tourilre of the Filles de Sainte-Marie." 

When the Duchesse de Bourgogne said this, 
she was no doubt referring more particularly to 
the extreme reserve with which her husband 
treated the somewhat coquettish ladies by whom 
he was surrounded. As though fearful lest he 
should be tempted to follow in the footsteps of 
his father and grandfather, the duke avoided 
feminine society as much as possible, and was 
cold and constrained when in the company of all 
ladies, save those whose age or reputation for 
piety rendered them above suspicion. " He con- 
sidered himself at the Court," writes the worthy 
Proyart, "as in the midst of that voluptuous 
isle of which his dear Mentor had depicted the 
dangers." He was continually on his guard against 
the insidious artifices of those perfidious nymphs 
who contended for the glory of triumphing over 
the virtue of Ulysses." * 

The prince's diffidence where women were 
concerned soon became a standing jest at the 
Court, and the ladies of the Duchesse de Bourgogne, 
encouraged by their mistress, frequently amused 
themselves by practical jokes at his expense. 
One of them, the Marechale de Coeuvres, once 
attempted to snatch a kiss from his Royal Highness. 
The latter offered a desperate resistance, but the 
marechale, who was a muscular young woman, 
was not to be denied, and was on the point of 
effecting her purpose, when the angry prince 

' A nun of the community now known as the Sisters of Saint- 

^ The writer is referring to Fenelon's T6Umaque. 
' Vie du Dauphin, pere de Louis xv. 


drew a pin and drove it with such force into his 
assailant's head, that she was compelled to keep 
her bed for several days. " Joseph himself was 
outdone," writes Madame, who tells the story, 
" since he saved himself by leaving his garment 
behind him, but did not strike or scratch any one. 
Never was such modesty seen." 

The same writer relates another anecdote, which, 
for the sake of the Duchesse le Bourgogne's reputa- 
tion with posterity, we will hope contains at least 
as much fiction as fact, though it is quite in keeping 
with the character of an age in which coarse practical 
jokes were regarded as the highest form of wit. 

One night the princess, "wishing to tease her 
husband a little," retired to rest at an unusually 
early hour, on the plea of feeling very sleepy. 
But, when she reached her room, instead of getting 
into bed, she directed one of her friends, Madame 
de la Vrilliere, a giddy young matron of eighteen, 
to take her place, while she and other kindred 
spirits hid themselves in different parts of the 
room to await events. 

Presently the Due de Bourgogne arrived, and, 
anxious not to disturb his consort, who appeared 
to be slumbering peacefully, immediately extin- 
guished his candle, undressed, got into bed, and 
composed himself to sleep. But, scarcely had 
he done so, when, to his amazement, the curtains 
were drawn aside, and the duchess stood beside 
him, and, with admirably-simulated indignation, 
demanded an explanation of his conduct. 

The poor prince's wrath when he recovered 
from his first astonishment, and heard the tittering 
of the concealed ladies, knew no bounds. He 


dragged the rash Madame de la VriUiere out of bed, 
flung her on to the floor, poured upon her a torrent 
of invectives, " of which * shameless hussy ' was 
the least strong," and was proceeding from words 
to blows, when she prudently took to flight. 
" They wanted to make him listen to reason," 
concludes Madame, " but no one could speak for 

The Duchesse de Bourgogne, it may here be 
observed, had a weakness for practical jokes, 
particularly at the expense of persons whom she 
disliked. One of her favourite butts was the 
Princesse d'Harcourt, the lady who, it will be 
remembered, had endeavoured to take advantage 
of her ignorance when she first began to hold 
receptions. Madame d'Harcourt was one of the 
ugliest women at the Court, "a great fat creature, 
with a mottled complexion, ugly thick lips, and 
hair like tow";^ and her manners matched her 
appearance. She cheated at cards, underpaid 
and beat her servants,^ behaved with intoler- 
able insolence to her inferiors, and often to her 
equals as well, and was so gluttonous as to disgust 
those at whose tables she dined. She was also a 
notorious coward, and nothing diverted the younger 
courtiers more than to devise some means of 
terrifying her. One evening, at Marly, the 
Duchesse de Bourgogne caused a number of petards 
to be placed along the whole length of the avenue 

1 Saint-Simon, MSmoires. 

" " She was lodged immediately above me," writes Madame, 
" and I often used to hear her chasing the servants about the room, 
cane in hand." One day, however, one of her maids, a sturdy 
peasant-girl, retahated by wrenching the cane out of her mistress's 
hand and administering a severe thrashing. 


which led from the chS,teau to the Perspective, 
where the Princesse d'Harcourt lodged. When 
the lady in her sedan-chair had proceeded a short 
distance, the petards began to explode on all sides, 
upon which the porters, who were in the secret, 
dropped the chair and took to flight, leaving the 
princess screaming with terror, to the huge delight 
of a number of people who had followed her to 
enjoy the fun. The princess was furious at the 
trick which had been played upon her, and sulked 
for some time. So, as it was winter and the ground 
was covered with snow, the Duchesse de Bourgogne 
and her ladies took to paying her nocturnal visits 
and snowballing her when she was in bed. This 
form of pleasantry proved too much for Madame 
d'Harcourt's fortitude, and, with many tears, she 
" asked pardon for having taken offence, and 
begged that they would cease to amuse themselves 
with her." ^ 

In April 1702, hostilities, which had hitherto 
been confined to Italy, broke out in Flanders 
and Alsace as well, preceding by nearly a month 
the official declaration of war by the Grand Alliance. 
The Due de Bourgogne was naturally eager to 
be given a chance of winning his spurs, and, Dangeau 
tells us, addressed to the King a letter, in which 
" he besought his Majesty to permit him to serve 
him, in order that he might render himself worthy 
of the honour of being his grandson." Louis xiv 
willingly granted his request, and gave him the 
nominal command of the Army of Flanders, the 
Marechal de Bouffiers being associated with him, 

1 Saint-Simon, Mimoires. 


as he had been in the manoeuvres at Compiegne 
three years before, to give him the benefit of his 
military experience. 

The position was not perhaps one which that 
veteran greatly coveted, since, if it were a signal 
proof of his Majesty's confidence, the responsi- 
bilities attached to it were very heavy, while, in 
the event of the prince declining to regard the 
counsels which he gave him as orders, the blame 
for the disasters which might follow would fall 
upon his shoulders. However, he was too good a 
courtier not to express himself deeply sensible 
of the honour which the King had done him in 
confiding to his care " the person and reputation 
of Monseigneur le Due de Bourgogne," though 
he ventured to add that considerations of such 
importance must necessarily render him a little 
more cautious than he would otherwise be. For 
the post of chief adviser, Louis xiv selected 
the Comte d'Artagnan, a nephew of the hero 
of Dumas's immortal romance, who, combined 
with soldierly qualities a decided talent for 
espionnage,^ and was charged by Chamillart, the 
Minister for War, to report to him, not only every- 
thing which his Royal Highness did in his pro- 
fessional capacity, but all his private actions, in 
order that he might keep the King informed. His 
Majesty also nominated six gentlemen to act as 
his aides-de-camp, while the Marquis de Saumery, 
formerly sous-gouverneur to the young princes, was 
attached to his staff. 

These matters having been settled, on April 
25, 1702, the Due de Bourgogne bade a " tearful 

• Saint-Simon, Memoires. 


and tender farewell " ^ to his wife, who was perhaps 
not quite so inconsolable at his departure as we 
should like to believe, and left Versailles to join 
the Army of Flanders, which was then engaged in 
defending a line which extended from the sea to 
Kaiserworth on the Rhine, a town belonging to 
the Elector of Cologne, one of France's few German 
allies, which the Imperialists were already besieging. 

Before leaving, he had entreated the King's 
permission to stop at Cambrai and see Fenelon, and 
his request had been granted, on condition that 
the interview should take place in the presence of 
Saumery. The archbishop had now been con- 
fined to his diocese for nearly five years, during 
which he and his former pupil had had no direct 
communication, with the exception of an exchange 
of letters towards the end of the previous year, 
though they had contrived to keep in touch with 
each other by the indirect channels of which we 
have spoken elsewhere ; and their joy at this brief 
reunion may be imagined. 

The meeting took place at the post-house, 
where a large crowd had assembled to welcome the 
prince, who greeted Fenelon with a delight which 
he made no attempt to conceal, and embraced him 
tenderly. The presence of the watchful Saumery, 
who, according to Saint-Simon, executed the 
orders which he had received from the King 
" with an air of authority which scandalised 
every one," and never quitted the duke's side 
for an instant, naturally prevented the discussion 
of private matters ; but " the prince's piercing 
and expressive eyes expressed much more effectually 

1 Dangeau. 


than his words what was passing in his mind, 
and the archbishop, whose eyes were not less 
eloquent, responded with all his being, while 
maintaining the most scrupulous reserve." The 
interview, however, was a very brief one, and at 
its conclusion the Due de Bourgogne resumed his 
journey, and a few days later arrived at Santen, 
a village near the left bank of the Rhine, opposite 
Wesel, where the main body of the French army 

In the campaign which followed, the young 
prince gained the good opinion of all ranks by 
his courage under fire, his zealous discharge of 
his duties, the courtesy and consideration with 
which he treated his officers, and the solicitude 
which he displayed for the welfare of the soldiers, 
and particularly for the wounded ; and the de- 
spatches of Boufflers and d'Artagnan are full of his 
praises. But he gained nothing else, except ex- 
perience, though public opinion, much more just 
to the Due de Bourgogne on this occasion than it 
was to show itself some years later, readily ad- 
mitted that the failure to bring Marlborough to a 
decisive engagement, and the consequent loss 
of Venloo, Liege, and other towns, ought not to 
be ascribed to him. When, therefore, at the 
beginning of September, Louis xiv recalled the 
prince to Versailles, the latter found himself the 
object of a kind of ovation, and, to give him a 
public token of his satisfaction, the King, a few 
weeks later, made him a member, not only of the 
Council of Finances, but of the Council of State 
as well. 

Louis XIV did not send his grandson again to 


Flanders when hostilities recommenced in the 
spring of 1703, since his confidence in Boufflers 
had been somewhat shaken by the events of the 
previous year. He and his Ministers had decided 
to make a vigorous attack upon the Empire, for 
which purpose the Army of the Rhine had been 
divided into two corps. One corps under Villars, 
recently created a marshal, in recognition of his 
victory over the Imperialists at Friedlingen, was 
to cross the Rhine, traverse the Black Forest, 
effect a junction with Maximilian of Bavaria, 
who had now declared for France, and enter the 
Tyrol from the North ; while Vendome, at the 
head of the Army of Italy, entered it from the 
Lago di Garda on the South, and united his forces 
with theirs for a combined advance upon Vienna 
by the valley of the Danube. The other corps 
under Tallard, formerly French Ambassador at 
St. James's, who in the following year commanded 
the French in the disastrous Battle of Blenheim, 
was to manoeuvre along the Rhine and hold in 
check the army commanded by Louis of Baden; 
and with Tallard the King decided to associate 
the Due de Bourgogne. 

He would have better served the duke's 
military reputation by selecting Villars, who 
gained plenty of glory, if no lasting success. 
Tallard was but an indifferent general, and, unlike 
Boufflers, he was inclined to resent his nominal 
subordination to the young prince, and to saddle 
him with the responsibility for errors which were 
really his own. They permitted the Prince of 
Baden to escape them, cross the Danube, take 
Augsburg, and threaten Villars' s rear, thus con- 


tributing not a little to frustrate that marshal's 
plans, and, though on September 6, thanks chiefly 
to Vauban's skill, they succeeded in reducing 
Brisach, after a fortnight's siege, they effected 
little else. On the i8th, the Due de Bourgogne 
quitted the army and returned to Versailles, 
where he again met with a flattering reception, 
and the Court poets vied with one another in 
celebrating the taking of Brisach. 

Prendre Brisach en treize jours, 

C'est une plus belle besogne. . , 

Ces exploits vigoureux et courts 

Sont du gout du Due de Bourgogne. 

Saint-Simon asserts that the prince had been 
anxious to remain with the army until the termina- 
tion of the campaign, and that he only quitted it in 
deference to the orders of the King. But the Due 
de Bourgogne' s correspondence proves that he 
did so at his own desire, and that, in point of 
fact, he had solicited his congi even before the 
capitulation of Brisach, stipulating, however, that 
he might be permitted to rejoin in the event 
of any movement of importance being determined 
upon. Nor does the same correspondence leave 
any room for doubt as to the reason which 
prompted his return — a step which he had soon 
reason to regret, since, after his departure, Tallard 
gained a victory over the Imperialists at Speyer, 
which enabled him to lay siege to and reduce 

1 According to Proyart, the duke had earnestly pressed tjie 
King to permit him to rejoin the army, but his Majesty, learning 
that he had exposed himself somewhat rashly during the siege 
of Brisach, refused. 


" A soldier," wrote Napoleon, in 1801, to his 
brother-in-law, Joachim Murat, in refusing him 
permission to come to Paris for Caroline Murat' s 
confinement, " ought to remain faithful to his 
wife, but not to wish to return to her whenever 
he thinks he has nothing else to do." Louis xiv 
might have replied to the Due de Bourgogne in 
similar terms, for it was the young prince's intense 
desire to see his wife again, after what appeared to 
him an intolerably long separation, which rendered 
him comparatively indifferent to the call of duty 
and the possibilities of glory. Unfortunately, none 
of the letters which he addressed to the Duchesse 
de Bourgogne in the course of the campaign of 
1703 have been preserved; but we have, on the 
other hand, a number written by him to her dame 
du palais and confidante, Madame de Montgon. 
This lady occupied, in regard to the young couple, 
very much the same position in which, in years 
gone by, the Marquis de Saint-Thomas had stood 
to the Duchess of Savoy and Victor Amadeus, that 
is to say, she acted as a kind of intermediary 
between them, and was in the habit of furnishing 
the amorous prince with the information con- 
cerning his wife's health and occupations which 
the object of his adoration did not condescend to 
supply personally. For though, during the cam- 
paign of the previous year, the Duchesse de Bour- 
gogne had written to her husband every day — or, 
at least, she assures Madame Royale that she did 
so ^ — in 1703 her letters appear to have been like 

' Letter of the Duchesse de Bourgogne to Madame Royale, 
June 12, 1702, Contessa della Rocca, Correspondance in&dile de 
la Duchesse de Bourgogne et de la Reine d'Espagne. 




angels' visits ; and the poor young man, aware 
as he was of her somewhat frail health and the 
heavy demands she was continually making upon 
it, was, in consequence, a prey to the keenest 
anxiety. His letters to Madame de Montgoni 
indeed, are an eloquent and pathetic testimony 
to the sincerity of a passion which met as yet with 
but a feeble response. Here is one which he 
wrote on June 12, a fortnight after leaving Ver- 
sailles, in which he complains that his wife has 
allowed an " interminable time " to pass without 
writing him more than a couple of letters : 

" I am astonished, Madame, at not having yet 
received anything from you, and still more at the 
irregularity of your illustrious mistress, who allows 
an interminable time to pass without writing to 
me more than two letters. ... I know not whether 
I shall weary you by returning to my sheep, but 
you can well understand that I must say a few 
words about this irregularity. I have decided not 
to begin by reproaching her ; nevertheless, I am 
unable to bear this with patience, and I was really 
angry yesterday evening at not receiving any letters 
by the courier who arrived from Franche-Comte. 
I would that you had seen me at supper, looking 
as gloomy as a chimney, speaking to no one, with 
my hat pulled down to my eyes. 

" Make my compliments to your mother,^ from 
whom I have been expecting a letter every day, 

1 These letters, which are now in the possession of the Marquis 
de Montgon, a descendant of the lady to whom they were addressed, 
have been pubhshed by the Marquis de Vogiie, in his interesting 
work, le due de Bourgogne et le due de Beauvilliers, and, in part, by 
the Comte d'HaussonviUe in la Duchesse de Bourgogne et I' Alliance 
savoyarde sous Louis xiv. 

" Madame d'Heudicourt, the old friend of Madame de Main- 


and, as for the other naughty one of whom I have 
spoken, tell her that, if in future I do not receive 
letters from her more often, I shall quarrel with 
her, and shall not write to her during the whole 

" P.S. — I greatly fear that these threats will be 
useless, since I should certainly be more severely 
punished than she." 

In one of her rare moments of tenderness for her 
absent husband, the Duchesse de Bourgogne had 
charged Madame de Montgon to send him a letter 
written in the princess's own blood. The uxorious 
duke was transported with joy on receiving what 
he considered so convincing a proof of his beloved's 
affection, and hastened to reply in like fashion, 
bidding Madame de Montgon assure her mistress 
that he had " kissed a thousand times, and would 
continue to kiss several times a day, the adorable 
blood he had received " ; that he had not lost a 
moment in drawing some of his own, and that he 
would gladly shed every drop in his body for her, 
as the princess had declared that she was prepared 
to do for him. He continues : — 

" But we must preserve it for each other, and 
unite our hearts, like those which I have sketched 
here, with my own blood drawn from the fingers of 
my left hand. 

" This letter, as well as the little sketch, is 
scrawled entirely with the blood which love caused 
me to shed on the instant, only too happy to have 
shed it for her : — 

"Quoy done! voila le sang qui colore ses joues, 
Cast luy qui la fait vivre et qui jusqu' en ses yeux 
Met le feu qui me rend amant et bienheureux. 
Qui dans trois mois au plus fera tourner mes roues. 


Gardez-le done ce sang, ce thr6sor prdcieux, 

Pour vous le mien est prest k couler dans ces lieux. 

Car, en cherchant icy la gloire, 

C'est votre coeur dont je veux la victoire. 

" You must promise me faithfully to carry this 
letter to her so soon as you receive it. Endeavour 
to see her in private. Go on your knees before her, 
and, after kissing both her hands for me, offer her 
the blood which has been shed for her alone. I 
know not whether you will entertain doubts about 
my sanity ; but can I do enough to prove to this 
queen how much I love her, although she is already 
well aware of it ? Let me know how she has 
received the commission I am entrusting to you, 
and her very words, and ask her, at the same time, 
if she does not love me with all her heart, and if I 
deserve it. Farewell, my dear Montgon. If some 
further extravagance comes into my mind between 
now and this evening, when the post leaves, I shall 
add it to this letter." 

Some further extravagance did occur to him, 
and he adds the following postscript : — 

"6 p.m. 

" The more I think of it, the more delighted I 
am with the idea of your having written to me 
with the blood of the beloved one. But I should 
have liked two lines in her own handwriting ; not 
because I believe that she does not think of it, but 
because the letter would have been more tender 
and more touching. But make her clearly under- 
stand that the blood which she will see has not been 
shed by the orders of any doctor, and sent by 
chance, but for her alone, and in the tender emotion 
of my heart, which has prevented me from feeling 
the little injury I have done myself. . . . Farewell, 
my dear Montgon, I thank you a thousand times 


for the ingenious letter which you have written me, 
and I shall keep it all my life, for the sake of the 
precious ink which has been used ; and I shall love 
you more sincerely than ever." 

But, if the Duchesse de Bourgogne were ready 
to shed a little of her blood ^ in order that Madame 
de Montgon might write to her husband, she seems 
to have had a singular objection to penning even 
the briefest epistles herself ; for, a little later, we 
find the Duke complaining bitterly to the con- 
fidante that, though he has despatched six letters 
to his wife within the past week, five successive 
couriers have arrived without a line from the 
princess, " a proof that she had not written to him 
for at least nine days." 

"... I should be very much tempted to write 
to her no more until I have received some letters, 
and even to discontinue writing for some time. But 
if, on her side, she did the same, I should be a 
hundred times more punished than she would be, 
since she, apparently, no longer cares at all for me, 
who would not hesitate to shed my blood in order 
to give her a fresh proof of a love of which she can 
entertain no doubt ; who would expose myself to 
frightful perils for her sake ; who would sacrifice 
everything for her. These are my sentiments, and 
I am sure that she understands them perfectly. 
Could I deserve more to be loved and to be less 
worthy of the forgetfulness and coldness which I 
have suffered for eleven whole days ? It would be 
in truth far too much for a heart less tender and 

1 The Marquis de Vogiie rather unkindly suggests that the 
" adorable blood " had been drawn by the princess's physician, 
for reasons quite unconnected with her Royal Highness's corre- 


faithful than mine. I say nothing of the promise 
which she made me on my departure, to write to 
me at least twice a week ; but, even if she were not 
bound by her word, ought she not to do so of her 
own free will ? Ask her again for me, I entreat you, 
the reason why she does not write ; whether it is 
that she is angry with me, in which case tell her 
that I shall endeavour to make amends as soon as 
possible ; whether my frequent letters weary her ; 
finally, if she is tired of being so passionately be- 
loved, and if she speaks the truth when she says 
that she loves me with her whole heart. But, 
above aU, do not send an answer to this letter 
without a little line in her handwriting at the foot ; 
for, if there is none, I shall be in despair, and shall 
believe in good earnest that she does not care for 
me any more. I ask your pardon if I speak so 
much of her, but she occupies my mind more than 
ever, and it seems that her neglect serves but to 
increase my ardour. ..." 

As this touching appeal failed to bring the little 
lines for which he craved, he wrote again to Madame 
de Montgon, bidding her remind " this coquette " 
that, even at the very moment in which she was 
speaking to her, the duke might be risking his life 
in the trenches, " into which the cannon and 
musket-shot were constantly falling, and where the 
dead and wounded were all about him." And he 
concludes : — 

" Picture to her also the arrival of a courier 
with the news that I am dangerously wounded, in 
which condition my only thought would be that I 
might perhaps never see her again, and that, in 
dying, I should regret no one in this world save 
her. I think that it will be well for you to read 


this passage to her, in order to tell me exactly 
what you may be able to divine of the sentiments 
of her heart, from the effect which it produces upon 
her outwardly." 

As the campaign proceeded, the letters of the 
Duchesse de Bourgogne became less and less fre- 
quent, and at length she allowed so long a time to 
elapse without writing to him, that the poor prince 
began to fear that she was seriously ill, and that 
Madame de Montgon and his other correspondents 
at the Court were conspiring together to keep him 
in ignorance. Tormented by this idea, he writes to 
Madame de Montgon : — 

" If anything were to happen in conformity 
with my gloomy presentiments, I should take a 
walk along the palisades of the covered way, to 
find there the end of my sorrows ; and I should 
think myself fortunate, if she were ill, to get some 
bullet-wound which would reduce me to the same 

When the princess did eventually break through 
her long silence, it was to advise her husband to 
remain with the army instead of returning to 
Court. On September 12, the Due de Bourgogne 
writes to his ex-gouverneur, the Due de Beau- 
villiers : — 

" I received this morning also a long letter 
from the Duchesse de Bourgogne, in which she 
begins by telling me that she has not written 
sooner, because she was too angry, and then, after 
having exhorted me not to hasten my return like 
last year, she continues as follows : ' The King 
has been greatly surprised that you are so soon 


demanding permission to return, as the campaign 
is not yet very far advanced, and you are still 
engaged in the siege [of Brisach], and this inclines 
him to think that you do not care for war any 
more than the others, and has annoyed him very 
much, which you will apparently understand, from 
the letter that he has written to you.' I confess 
that this has caused me some surprise, since I have 
found nothing to correspond to it in the King's 
letters. . . ." ^ 

A subsequent chapter will explain the true 
reason of the princess's silence, and why she had 
so little desire to see the return of this too-devoted 
husband ; and it was certainly just as well for the 
Due de Bourgogne's peace of mind that he was un- 
aware of it. 

1 Marquis de Vogiie, le Due de Bourgogne et le Due de Beau- 


Impatience of Louis xiv to see a son born to the Due and 
Duchesse de Bourgogne — Severe regime imposed upon the young 
princess when she becomes enceinte in the autumn of 1703 — Birth 
of the first Due de Bretagne (June 24, 1704) — Marriage of the 
Duchesse de Bourgogne's younger sister, Maria Luisa of 
Savoy, Princess of Piedmont, to PhiUp v of Spain — The war 
in Italy : Victor Amadeus 11 generalissimo of the Army of the 
Two Crowns — Consequences of his delay in joining the army and 
the want of unanimity between him and the French and Spanish 
generals — Villeroy supersedes Catinat — Defeat of the allies at 
Chiari — The Duke of Savoy suspected of having betrayed the 
plans of the allies to the Imperiahsts — His indignation at the 
insolent familiarity of Villeroy — Failure of negotiations between 
France and the Duke of Mantua for the cession of Montferrato 
to Savoy — Ofiers of the Emperor to Victor Amadeus — Philip v 
in Italy — Refusal of the King of Spain to accord his father-in- 
law the honours due to an equal removes the Duke's last scruples 
about breaking with his aUies — Successes of Venddme in Italy — 
Negotiations of Victor Amadeus with Vienna — Louis xiv, convinced 
of his treasonable intentions, orders Vendome to take vigorous 
measures against him — Victor Amadeus deserts his alhes, and signs 
a treaty with the Emperor 

ALTHOUGH the Due and Duchesse de Bour- 
gogne had now lived together for nearly 
four years, the primary object of their 
marriage still remained to be accomplished. Louis 
XIV, who desired to see the succession to the throne 
in the direct line secured against all possibility 
of failure — and it must be admitted that the 
successive deaths of Monseigneur, the Due de 
Bourgogne, the second little Due de Bretagne, 


and the Due de Berry, in the closing years of his 
reign, fully justified an anxiety which in 1703 may 
have appeared to many persons unwarranted — 
was becoming very impatient ; and his impatience 
was sensibly increased by the fact that in the 
spring of 1701, and again in the summer of the 
following year, the princess had been enceinte, 
and that on each occasion his hopes had been 
disappointed, through her refusal to comply with 
the commonest precautions. 

However, soon after her husband's return to 
Versailles in the autumn of 1703, the young lady 
was once more in an interesting condition, and this 
time his Majesty determined that the most severe 
regime should be imposed upon her, in order to 
guard against a fresh accident. Not only were 
hunting, dancing,^ and every amusement which 
entailed exertion strictly forbidden, but, when 
she drove out, her coachmen had orders to avoid 
paved roads and to walk their horses the greater 
part of the way ; while, about three months 
before she expected her confinement, Clement, 
the accoucheur to whose care she had been en- 
trusted, finding that she was not progressing as 
satisfactorily as he could desire, ordered her to bed, 
where, in spite of her indignant protests, she was 
condemned to pass the remainder of the time. 

These somewhat excessive precautions did not 
go unrewarded, and on the afternoon of June 24, 
1704, " at one minute and a half after five," ^ 

1 As the princess's medical advisers feared that during the 
coming Carnival she might insist on dancing, in defiance of their 
prohibition, the King gave orders that during that festive season 
no balls were to be given at the Court. 

' Dangeau. 



the Duchesse de Bourgogne gave birth to a son, 
to the great joy of the whole Court. Louis xiv 
stationed himself at the foot of the bed from the 
moment when the pains of labour began until the 
princess was delivered, as he had done for the 
late Dauphine ; but the Due de Bourgogne, unable 
to bear the sight of his wife's sufferings, remained 
in his cabinet until his brother, the Due de Berry, 
brought him the glad news. The infant prince, 
to whom the King gave the title of the Due de 
Bretagne, was baptized at once by the Cardinal 
de Coislin, Bishop of Orleans, assisted by the 
cure of Versailles, after which he was wrapped 
in his swaddling-clothes and carried by the Mare- 
chale de la Mothe, gouvernante of the Children of 
France, to his father, who kissed him. A sedan- 
chair was then brought to the door of the bed- 
chamber, and the marechale, with the child in 
her arms, entered it, and was conveyed to the 
apartments which had been prepared for the 
newcomer, to whom, a little later in the evening, 
the King sent the cross and blue ribbon of the 
Order of the Saint-Esprit. Then his Majesty and 
the Due de Bourgogne went to the chapel to return 
thanks to God, and remained there in prayer for 
three-quarters of an hour.^ 

The birth of her little son must have been 
doubly welcome to the Duchesse de Bourgogne, 
since it occurred at a time when she stood in sore 
need of something to divert her thoughts from an 
event which was causing her great distress. 

It will be remembered that, at the beginning 

^ Mercure de France, June 1704. 


of April 1701, Victor Amadeus 11 had signed the 
treaty which Louis xiv had, so to speak, offered 
him at the sword's point, though with the full deter- 
mination to desert his allies so soon as he could 
obtain satisfactory terms from the Emperor. A 
month later, he received a formal demand from 
Philip V of Spain for the hand of his daughter, 
the Princess of Piedmont, to which he, of course 
returned a favourable answer. But, at the same 
time, he charged his Ambassador at Vienna to 
inform the Emperor that he was not a free agent 
in the matter, and that, had he been at liberty to 
choose a husband for his daughter, he would have 
infinitely preferred an alliance between her and the 
Archduke Charles. 

The young princess was thirteen years of age, 
two years older than her sister Adelaide at the 
time when the latter left Turin for France. In 
appearance she was not unlike the Duchesse de 
Bourgogne, but possessed of far greater ability 
and strength of character ; and, young as she was, 
she already gave promise of the qualities which 
were to make her the right arm of her feeble and 
indolent husband and the idol of the Spanish 

The marriage was celebrated by proxy, at 
Turin, on September 12, 1701, the old Prince di 
Carignano representing Philip v ; and the same 
day the young queen set out on her journey to 

Since early summer, hostilities had been in pro- 
gress in Northern Italy, where Prince Eugene 
with some thirty thousand Imperialists was pitted 
against a composite force of French, Spaniards, 


and Savoyards, which is usually designated as 
the Army of the Two Crowns. The French were 
commanded by Catinat/ the Spaniards by the 
Prince de Vaudemont, Governor of the Milanese; 
while Victor Amadeus, in accordance with the 
treaty of the previous April, was invested with the 
title of generalissimo. The responsibihties of the 
last-named seem to have sat very lightly upon him, 
for his troops did not begin to put in an appearance 
until the patience of his allies was almost exhausted, 
and then only by single battalions at a time, while 
he himself, in spite of the urgent representations 
of the French Ambassador at Turin, invented so 
many pretexts to delay his departure for the 
front, that that personage began to entertain 
serious doubts as to whether he intended to go at 

So consummate a general as Eugene did not 
fail to profit by these delays. In the first days of 
July, he advanced towards the Adige, routed a 
French division at Carpi, forced the passage of 
the river, and made himself master of the whole 
country between the Adige and the Adda. Nor 
did the situation improve when Victor Amadeus 
at length arrived upon the scene, for neither Catinat 
nor Vaudemont were inclined to place any con- 
fidence in his judgment, and the want of unanimity 
between the three generals enabled Eugene to 
outmanoeuvre them, cross the Adda, and push 
his advance-posts to the frontiers of the Milanese, 
without firing a shot. 

Louis XIV, much irritated by these reverses, 
now resolved to replace Catinat by Villeroy, who 

1 Prior to the arrival of Catinat, Tesse had held the command. 


was one of his Majesty's favourite generals, though 
quite unworthy of the confidence reposed in him. 
But there seems to be no truth in the charge made 
in the so-called Mimoires of Catinat, and repro- 
duced by Michelet and other historians, that the 
Duchesse de Bourgogne had persuaded the King 
to this step, because in his despatches to Versailles 
the marshal had accused her father of treason ; 
and Catinat, at his own request, was permitted to 
serve under the orders of ViUeroy. 

With the arrival of Villeroy, matters went from 
bad to worse. The marshal had received orders 
from Louis xiv, who appears to have imagined 
that he could direct operations quite effectively 
from his cabinet at Versailles, to assume the 
offensive, and, contrary to the advice of his old 
colleagues, he insisted on attacking the Imperialists, 
who were strongly entrenched at Chiari (September 
g, 1701).^ The result was a disastrous defeat for 
the allies, in which Catinat was wounded, and the 
Duke of Savoy, whose coldness in the Bourbon cause 
did not prevent him from displaying great bravery 
and leading a charge in person, had his horse killed 
under him and his uniform pierced by musket-balls. 

After this reverse, the Army of the Two Crowns 
was compelled to fall back into the Milanese, and 
the whole of the Duchy of Mantua, with the excep- 
tion of the capital and Goito, passed into the hands 
of Eugene, whose information concerning the move- 
ments of the allies was declared by the French 
to be so extraordinarily accurate, that they 

'When Victor Amadeus protested against this rash under- 
taking, Villeroy answered insolently that " the King of France had 
not sent so many brave warriors to the Army of Italy to observe 
the enemy through field-glasses." 


were forced to the conclusion that there must be 
treachery at work. 

If we are to beheve the Mentoires of Catinat, 
that marshal did not hesitate to express this opinion 
openly, and one day, at a council of war, looked 
the Duke of Savoy in the face and observed : 
" Not only is Prince Eugene kept informed of the 
movements of our army, of the strength of the 
detachments which leave it, and of their destina- 
tion, but he is even acquainted with the projects 
which are discussed here." 

This anecdote, which has been reproduced, with- 
out comment, in a recently-published biography 
of Victor Amadeus, to which we have several 
times had occasion to refer,^ seems of very doubtful 
authenticity,^ since, as the Comte d'Haussonville 
points out, the despatches of Catinat are char- 
acterised, where the Duke of Savoy is concerned, 
by great reserve. Moreover, while Villeroy and 
Tesse suspected Victor Amadeus, Phelypeaux, the 
French Ambassador at Turin, who had accom- 
panied the Duke to the army, and Louis xiv 
believed the Prince de Vaudemont, who had a 
son and a nephew with Eugene, to be the traitor ; 
and the King gave instructions for him to be 
closely watched. The probability is that both 
were innocent of any military treason, and that 
the reverses of the Army of the Two Crowns are 

1 The Marchesa di Vitelleschi, " The Romance of Savoy : Victor 
Amadeus and his Stuaxt Bride." 

2 Villeroy wrote in almost identical language to Louis xiv in a 
despatch of September 25, 1701, though without actually naming 
the Duke of Savoy. It is possible that the compiler of Catinat's 
MSmoires was acquainted with this document, and put Villeroy's 
words into the mouth of his hero. 


sufficiently explained by the jealousy and in- 
capacity of its leaders and the immeasurable 
superiority of Eugene as a general.^ 

However that may be, it is certain that the 
Duke of Savoy's dislike of the alliance which had 
been forced upon him had been greatly increased 
since the arrival of Villeroy, who addressed the 
prince habitually as " Monsieur de Savoie " and 
treated him with the most insolent familiarity. 
He complained bitterly to Phelypeaux of the 
conduct of the marshal, and, to mark his dis- 
pleasure, sent his troops into winter-quarters even 
before the conclusion of the campaign, and re- 
turned to Turin. 

Louis XIV, warned by Phelypeaux that, if 
matters continued to go badly in Italy, the Duke 
of Savoy would certainly change sides, began at 
last to recognise the necessity of attaching his 
slippery ally to his cause by some surer tie than 
that of the treaty of the previous April, and 
accordingly permitted negotiations to be opened 
with a view to obtaining from the Duke of Mantua 
the cession of Montferrato to the Kings of France 
and Spain, and subsequently to Victor Amadeus, 
in return for a money indemnity. This affair 
dragged on for some months, but without result, 
since, though the Duke of Mantua was only a 
little prince, he was a very proud one, and he 
declared that no sum which their Majesties might 
offer could induce him to part with any portion 
of his dominions.^ 

1 Comte d'Haussonville, la Duchesse de Bourgogne et V Alliance 
savoyarde sous Louis xiy. 

* This decision was the more creditable to him, since, if we 
are to believe Tesse, he kept no less than three hundred and sixty- 


It was, of course, open to Louis xiv to compel 
the Duke to accede to his wishes, but Mantua was 
an old ally of France, and the idea of employing 
coercion was distasteful to him; and he therefore 
forbore to press the matter. 

He would probably have been less complaisant, 
if he had been aware that simultaneously with this 
negotiation the Duke of Savoy had been carrying 
on one with the Emperor, and that, almost at the 
same moment that Victor Amadeus was informed 
of the refusal of the Duke of Mantua, he had 
received from Leopold, who cared nothing for the 
interests of that prince, a promise of Montferrato, 
with the addition of the rich province of Ales- 
sandria, in return for his desertion of the Bourbon 

The Duke of Savoy had now no longer any 
inducement to remain faithful to his engagements, 
save that natural reluctance to join the party 
opposed to his two sons-in-law to which Louis xiv 
seems to have attached an altogether exaggerated 
importance. But, unhappily for his Majesty's 
calculations, an incident which occurred in the 
summer of 1702 served to remove any scruples 
that Victor Amadeus might have entertained on 
that score. 

In April, the new King of Spain, recognising 
the necessity of making himself known to his 
Italian subjects, and stimulating by his presence 
the zeal of the Spanish troops in Italy, sailed for 
Naples, and, after taking formal possession of his 

eight mistresses, and must therefore have been often pressed for 
money. Tesse adds that, notwithstanding his amative propen- 
sities, he was " a pious and charitable prince." 


Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, proceeded to the 
Milanese. A meeting between Philip v and his 
wife's family was arranged, and the Duke and 
Duchess of Savoy and Madame Royale set out for 
Alessandria, where the two princesses remained, 
while the Duke went on to Acqui, a little town 
some miles distant, to meet his royal son-in-law. 

Now, when this interview was first proposed, 
Victor Amadeus, through his Ambassador at Ver- 
sailles, had endeavoured to enlist the good offices 
of Torcy, the French Minister for Foreign Affairs, 
to obtain from Philip v a promise that he would 
accord his father-in-law the honours due to a 
sovereign, as Philip 11 had done to the Duke's 
ancestor Charles Emmanuel i, when he journeyed 
to Spain to wed Catherine of Austria. Torcy, how- 
ever, had excused himself from intervening, on 
the ground that he could not presume to regulate 
the ceremonial of a foreign Court. Nevertheless, 
in view of the precedent we have mentioned, their 
relationship, and their alliance, the Duke of Savoy 
fully expected to be received as an equal. 

Nothing occurred at the first interview between 
the two sovereigns to destroy this illusion. The 
King of Spain alighted from his carriage and 
embraced his father-in-law warmly, regretted that 
the carriage in which he was travelling was too 
small for him to be able to offer him a seat, but 
invited him to sup with him in the evening ; and 
the Duke departed, convinced that his dignity 
was safe. 

But, when supper-time arrived, he found that 
he was mistaken, for though two arm-chairs exactly 
similar to one another had been placed side by 


side, it was the one on the left hand and not that 
on the right — the place of honour, which a sovereign 
always offered to a guest whom he desired to treat 
as an equal — which was reserved for him. 

Bitterly mortified, Victor Amadeus excused 
himself from remaining to supper, on the plea of 
indisposition, and almost immediately withdrew ; 
and, when, on arriving at Alessandria on the fol- 
lowing day, Philip v aggravated this affront by 
advancing two paces only from the threshold of 
his apartment to receive the Duchess of Savoy and 
Madame Royale, his wrath against his son-in-law 
knew no bounds.^ 

From that moment, his last lingering scruples 
vanished, and, if he delayed an open rupture with 
his allies for some time longer, it was simply be- 
cause the course of the war in Northern Italy 
rendered it advisable for him to wait upon events. 
For, in February 1702, the incapable Villeroy had 
been succeeded by the Due de Vendome, a general 
of a very different stamp, of whom we shall have 
occasion to speak at length later on, who relieved 
Mantua, checked Eugene's victorious career in the 
obstinate battle of Luzzara, compelled the Im- 
perialists to fall back behind the Mincio, and held 
them in check during the whole of the campaigns 
of 1702 and 1703. 

Victor Amadeus took no part personally in 
either of these campaigns, but remained at Turin, 
and devoted his energies to endeavouring to wrest 

1 Yet, with characteristic dissimulation, he wrote, a day or 
two later to his daughter, the Queen of Spain, that he had " been 
charmed by the obliging manner in which he [the King] had spoken 
to him, and that he regretted having been compelled to leave him 


still more favourable terms from the Emperor ; 
while, at the same time, he again approached 
Louis XIV on the old question of the cession of the 
Milanese in exchange for Savoy and Nice. 

According to the Italian historian, Denina, 
the Cabinet of Vienna, which, since the arrival of 
Vendome in Italy, had become increasingly anxious 
to detach Victor Amadeus from his allies, had re- 
course to a ruse in order to effect its purpose : 
" Letters and documents addressed to the Court 
of Turin, and explaining the measures which 
would be taken to put the Duke of Savoy in 
possession of three towns of Lombardy, were 
entrusted to a Neapolitan. This messenger had 
orders to allow himself to be captured by the 
French, and, on seeing these despatches, the 
King of France, ignorant of the ruse, did not 
doubt that the alliance had been ratified." ^ 

Whatever truth there may be in this story, it is 
certain that the Emperor's agents did endeavour 
to force the Duke's hand by spreading reports that 
he had joined the Grand Alliance, and, in the 
second week in September, Louis xiv, convinced 
that he had betrayed him — or, at least, was on the 
point of doing so — sent orders to Vendome to 
surround and disarm the Piedmontese contingent 
of 6000 men, then encamped at San-Benedetto, 
near Pavia, and conduct them as prisoners to the 
fortress of Fenestrella ; which done, he was to 
demand from Victor Amadeus the surrender of 
Vercelli and Coni, as places of surety for his loyalty, 
and, in case of refusal, to invade Piedmont. 

Victor Amadeus' s reply to the disarmament 

' Cited by Faverges, Anne d' Orleans. 


of his troops was to arrest every Frenchman in his 
States, inchxding the Ambassador Phelypeaux, 
who was condemned to detention in the French 
Legation, and to despatch envoys to every Court 
in Europe to denounce what he stigmatized as a 
violation of the law of nations. 

Meanwhile, Vendome had advanced to the 
frontiers of Piedmont ; ^ but the necessity of detach- 
ing a considerable part of his forces to hold the Im- 
perialists in check rendered it dangerous for him 
to attempt an invasion until reinforcements arrived 
from France. Victor Amadeus did not neglect to 
profit by the inaction of the French general to push 
on his negotiations with Vienna, and on November 
8, 1703, a treaty was signed at Turin between him 
and the Emperor, whereby, in consideration of 
the Duke's adhesion to the Grand AUiance, Ales- 
sandria, Montferrato, the Lomellina, and the vaUey 
of the Sesia were ceded to him, and guaranteed by 
England and Holland, while all conquests which 
might be made in the course of the war in Dau- 
phine and Provence were to remain in his pos- 

1 Several writers speak of a plot organised by Vend6me to 
seize and carry off Victor Amadeus while he was hunting in the 
neighbourhood of II Veneria, which, however, was discovered and 
checkmated ; but that such a step was ever contemplated is more 
than doubtful. 


Distress of the Duchesse de Bourgogne at the defection of 
Victor Amadeus ii — Her apprehensions that the conduct of her 
father may affect her own position prove to be unfounded — 
Saint-Simon's portrait of the princess — Imprudence of the Duchesse 
de Bourgogne in her relations with the opposite sex — She falls in 
love with the Marquis de Nangis — Embarrassing position in which 
this nobleman finds himself between the Duchesse de Bourgogne 
and his mistress, Madame de la Vrilhfere — The princess, piqued 
by Nangis's hesitation to take advantage of his good fortune, 
encourages the Marquis de Maulevrier — Nature of the latter's 
relations with the Duchesse de Bourgogne considered — Maulevrier 
feigns illness in order to remain at Court — His mad conduct — 
Alarm of the Duchesse de Bourgogne — Maulevrier is persuaded to 
go to Spain, but his indiscretions at Madrid necessitate his recall 
to France — The Abbe de PoUgnac first favourite with the princess 
— Fury of Maulevrier, who bombards the Duchesse de Bourgogne 
with threatening letters — His tragic end — Grief of the princess — 
PoUgnac is sent to Rome 

THE suspicions concerning the loyalty of 
Victor Amadeus which had been openly 
expressed at Versailles for some months 
preceding his defection had not failed to reach 
the ears of the Duchesse de Bourgogne, and had 
occasioned the young princess the keenest distress ; 
and, when she learned of the orders which had 
been sent to Vendome, she was "in a state of 
despair which was apparent to the eyes of every 
one." ^ For this strange man, so indifferent to 
the first duties of a husband and a father, so cold, 

1 Vemone to the Duke of Savoy, October lo, 1703. 


capricious, and secretive, had, nevertheless, the 
gift of inspiring affection. By his neglected wife, 
as we have seen, he was passionately beloved, and 
both his daughters seemed to have cherished for 
him a warm attachment. 

Nor were her fears for the future of her 
father and her family at Turin the sole cause 
of her distress. She was greatly alarmed lest 
the rupture between the country of her birth 
and that of her adoption might affect her 
own position, and saw herself in a kind of 
semi-disgrace, like the late Dauphine, when her 
brother, the Elector of Bavaria, had turned his 
arms against France, the object of covert sneers 
and contemptuous glances. What a terrible pros- 
pect for one who for nearly six years had been 
the joy of the King and the idol of the Court ! 

She was soon reassured on that score, for Louis 
xiv's attachment to the girl was far too strong 
for him to permit her to suffer for the conduct of 
her father ; and, to testify that his feelings towards 
her had undergone no change, and, at the same 
time, to divert her thoughts from the events which 
were passing in Italy, he multiplied the balls and 
f6tes which afforded her so much pleasure, and 
those which followed the birth of the little Due de 
Bretagne were of the most brilliant description. 

That the defection of Victor Amadeus should 
have been powerless to injure his daughter's 
position at the French Court is scarcely a matter 
for surprise, when we pause to consider to what 
an unprecedented degree of favour the young 
princess had now attained. But, to appreciate 
this, let us turn to that wonderful physical and 


moral portrait by Saint-Simon, which, though it 
may be famihar to some of our readers, will none 
the less bear reproduction : 

" Gentle, timid, but adroit, unwiUing to give 
the slightest pain to any one ; all lightness and 
vivacity, and, nevertheless, capable of far-reaching 
views ; constraint, even to the point of annoyance, 
cost her no effort, though she felt all the burden 
of it. Complaisance was natural to her, flowed 
from her, and was bestowed on every member 
of the Court. 

" Regularly plain, with pendant cheeks, a 
forehead too prominent, thick biting lips ; hair 
and eyebrows of dark chestnut, and well planted ; 
the most eloquent and the most beautiful eyes in 
the world ; few teeth, and those all decayed, 
about which she was the first to talk and jest ; the 
most beautiful complexion and skin ; not much 
bosom, but what there was, admirable ; the throat 
long, with the suspicion of a goitre, which did not 
ill become her ; a carriage of the head gallant, 
graceful, majestic, and the manner the same, 
the smile most expressive ; a figure long, round, 
slender, easy, perfectly shaped ; the walk of a 
goddess upon the clouds — she pleased to a super- 
lative degree. Grace accompanied her every step, 
her manners, and her most ordinary conversa- 
tion. An air always simple and natural, often 
rather naive, but seasoned with wit, aided by that 
ease peculiar to her, charmed all who approached 
her, and communicated itself to them. Her gaiety 
(youthful, quick, active), animated everything, and 
her nymph-like lightness carried her everywhere, 
like a whirlwind which fills several places at once, 


and gives them movement and life. She was the 
ornament of all diversions, the life and soul of all 
pleasure. . . . 

" She spared nothing, not even her health, to 
gain Madame de Maintenon, and, through her, the 
King. Her suppleness towards them was un- 
paralleled, and was never for a moment at fault. 
She accompanied it with all the discretion that 
her knowledge of them, which she had acquired 
by study and experience, had given her, and could 
measure their dispositions to an inch. In this way 
she had acquired a familiarity with them such 
as none of the King's children had approached. 
In public, grave, reserved with the King, and 
timidly decorous with Madame de Maintenon, whom 
she never addressed except as ma tante, thus prettily 
confounding affection and respect ; in private, 
prattling, skipping, fi3dng round them ; now 
perched upon the arms of their chairs, now plapng 
upon their knees, she clasped them round the 
neck, embraced them, kissed them, rumpled them, 
tickled them under the chin, tormented them, 
rummaged their tables, their papers, their letters, 
broke open the seals and read the contents in spite 
of their resistance, if she perceived that her pranks 
were likely to be received in good part. 

" The King really could not do without her. 
Everything went wrong with him if she were not 
present ; even at his supper, if she were absent, 
an additional cloud of seriousness and silence 
settled upon him. She took great care to see him 
every day ; and, if some ball in winter, some 
pleasure-party in summer, caused her to lose 
half the night, she nevertheless arranged matters 


so well that she went and embraced the King 
the moment he was awake, and amused him with 
an account of the fSte." 

Idolised by Louis xiv and Madame de Main- 
tenon, she was scarcely less beloved by the Court, 
certain members of the Royal Family and their 
satellites alone excepted. For she never used 
her favour with the King to the detriment of any 
one ; but, on the contrary, was always ready to 
plead the cause of those who had been so un- 
fortunate as to incur the royal displeasure. " She 
was gracious to all ; she wished to please even the 
most useless and the most ordinary persons ; 
and you were tempted to believe her wholly and 
solely devoted to those with whom she happened 
to be. She was the darling of the Court, adored 
by all ; everybody, great and small, was anxious 
to please her, everybody missed her when she 
was away ; when she reappeared, the void was 
filled. In a word, she had attached all hearts to 
her." 1 

If Victor Amadeus had led an invading army 
to the gates of Paris, the Duchesse de Bourgogne 
would stiU have reigned supreme over the heart 
of the old King, still have been the idol of the 
Court. To resist so bewitching a young creature 
was an impossibility. 

Naturally, the young princess did not lack 
for admirers in other than a platonic sense. 
Naturally, too, she was not altogether insensible 
to the admiration which she read in so many 
eyes — admiration which needed but a little com- 
plaisance on her part to declare itself in a bolder 

1 Mimoires. 


fashion. For a time, however, scandal found 
nothing substantial to lay hold of. The girl had 
received an excellent moral training at Turin, 
and again at Saint-Cyr, and, if she did not exactly 
love, she was, at least, fond of her husband, and 
anxious to please him, which served at first to 
counteract, in some degree, the baneful effects of 
the empty, frivolous life which she led and the 
constant adulation of which she was the object. 
Nevertheless, shrewd observers, like Madame, did 
not fail to perceive that the lady was by no means 
as prudent as could be desired in her relations with 
the opposite sex, and that the day might not be 
far distant when she would have cause to regret 
it. Thus, so early as April 1701, we find that 
princess writing to the Electress of Hanover : — 

"The Duchesse de Bourgogne is very intelli- 
gent, but she is, as every young person would 
be who had been allowed such great liberty, 
extremely coquettish and giddy. If she had been 
with people who would have exercised over her 
the control which she needed, one might have been 
able to make something good of her Highness, but 
I fear, from the way she is allowed to behave, that 
many little stories will come to light." 

Possibly, Madame would have been wrong, and 
there would have been no " little stories," if the 
too-sensitive conscience of the Due de Bourgogne 
had not driven him to a semi-renunciation of 
the world, and to spend in devotion and conversa- 
tion with his confessor hours which might have 
been more suitably employed in looking after his 
young wife, sharing her harmless pleasures, and 


endeavouring to inspire her with a taste for some 
useful occupation. But the worthy youth was 
too short-sighted, too self-centred, to recognise 
the probable consequences of his conduct ; and the 
princess, resenting her husband's lack of interest 
in her amusements, and mortified by the merriment 
which his asceticism aroused among her thoughtless 
companions, began to find indifference and some- 
thing like contempt replacing the affectionate 
regard she had hitherto entertained for him; 
took more and more pleasure in the homage which 
was so freely offered her, and finally entered 
upon the dangerous path of flirtation, which 
promised her a new and agreeable form of excite- 

" The Due de Bourgogne," writes Madame, in 
1703, "is so steeped in devotion that, in my 
opinion, he will become stupid from it. . . . His 
wife is mischievous and coquettish; she will 
furnish him matter for mortification." 

One of the most fascinating cavaliers of the 
Court at this time was the Marquis de Nangis, 
who, though only about the same age as the Due 
de Bourgogne, was already a past-master in the 
art of gallantry. His popularity with the ladies 
was immense. To an agreeable, if not strikingly 
handsome face, a fine figure, and charming manners, 
he joined a reputation for great personal courage, 
which he had gained during the campaigns of 1701 
and 1702, and "a discretion which was beyond his 
years, and did not belong to his time." ^ 

In the early summer of 1703, soon after the 

1 Saint-Simon. 


Due de Bourgogne had left Versailles to take up 
his command on the Rhine, Nangis, who had 
been serving in Flanders under Villars, and had 
been ill or slightly wounded, was invalided home, 
to the great joy of the ladies of the Court, who 
vied with one another in their efforts to beguile 
the tedium of his convalescence. 

It was now that he appears to have first attracted 
the attention of the Duchesse de Bourgogne, 
who could not help contrasting the handsome, 
soldierly young marquis, who seemed to have 
not a care in the world, and was never so happy 
as when he was paying agreeable compliments 
to pretty women, with her grave, reserved, and 
deformed husband, with results that were far from 
flattering to the absent prince. 

According to Saint-Simon, who, as we have 
observed elsewhere, is generally trustworthy enough 
when he feels compelled to relate the pecca- 
dilloes of his friends, the first advances came 
from the princess herself, in the form of certain 
" speechless messages," which a gentleman of M. 
de Nangis' s experience in affairs of the heart could 
scarcely fail to interpret correctly. 

He, on his part, was not ungrateful, but 
decidedly alarmed, since he was at that moment 
engaged in a liaison with Madame de la Vrilliere, 
the heroine of the not very creditable incident 
mentioned in a previous chapter,^ and the lady 
in question showed not the slightest intention of 
resigning her conquest. Indeed, the moment that 
jealousy had enlightened her as to what was taking 
place, it became doubly precious in her estimation, 

* See p. 272, supra. 


and she intimated to the marquis that he would 
abandon her at his peril. 

The hapless Nangis found himself in a most 
embarrassing situation, and, for the first time in 
his life, began to wish that he was a trifle less 
irresistible. " He dreaded the fury of his mistress, 
who pretended to be more ready to make a com- 
motion than she really was ; and, apart from his 
love for her, he feared the result of a scandal, and 
already saw his fortune lost. On the other hand, 
any reserve on his part towards a princess who 
had so much power in her hands, who one day 
would be all-powerful, and who was not likely 
to yield to or even to suffer a rival, might 
be his ruin." ^ Was ever a gallant so distracted 
before ? 

While Nangis was racking his brains to discover 
some way of escape, the two ladies disputed for his 
possession, Madame de la Vrilliere conducting herself 
with bitterness, and sometimes insolence towards 
her royal rival, who, on her side, " gently manifested 
her displeasure." No wonder that the poor Due 
de Bourgogne's letters from the army remained 
unanswered while his wife's attention was con- 
centrated upon this singular duel ! 

The affair was soon the talk of the Court, or, 
at least, of all who, like Saint-Simon, " made it 
their special ambition to be well informed of every- 
thing"; but, whether from fear of incurring the 
princess's resentment, or, more probably, from the 
affection which they entertained for her, the gossips 
seem to have exercised, on this occasion, a most 
commendable restraint, and no hint of what was 

^ Saint-Simon. 


in progress was allowed to reach the King or 
Madame de Maintenon. 

And now a new actor made his appearance upon 
the scene. Piqued apparently by Nangis's hesi- 
tation to take advantage of his good fortune, 
the Duchesse de Bourgogne resolved to excite 
his jealousy by encouraging a rival, and selected for 
the purpose Fran9ois fidouard Colbert, Marquis 
de Maulevrier, a nephew of the famous Minister, 
and a son-in-law of her first equerry, Tesse. 

Maulevrier, who, like Nangis, was still in his 
premiere jeunesse, and, like him, had served with 
some distinction in the Army, where he had just 
been made brigadier of infantry, could not lay 
claim to the elegance of that redoubtable squire of 
dames, being, indeed, a very commonplace-looking 
young man. But, en revanche, he was clever, 
witty, fertile in resource, enterprising, and intensely 
ambitious. He was also more than a trifle mad, 
and needed little to render him altogether irre- 
sponsible for his actions, though, as is frequently 
the case in the early stages of insanity, his disorder 
revealed itself in an audacity and a cunning which 
often proved of considerable assistance to his 
ambitious projects. 

Overjoyed at the prospect of a bonne fortune 
which would make him, he believed, the most 
envied of men, Maulevrier hesitated not a moment. 
Through his relationship to Tesse and his wife's 
intimacy with the Duchesse de Bourgogne, he 
enjoyed easy access to the princess, and at once 
began to pay her the most assiduous court. The 
latter, somewhat alarmed by his boldness, pre- 
tended to misunderstand him, whereupon he 


addressed to her eloquently-reproachful letters, to 
which she had the imprudence to reply. The 
intermediary was Madame Quantin, the princess's 
first femme de chambre, who appears to have been 
under the impression that the letters which her 
mistress handed to her came from Tesse, and that 
those which Maulevrier wrote were intended for his 

This affair, like the other, was soon an open 
secret, but was treated with the same discretion. 
According to Saint-Simon, there were not wanting 
persons who believed that matters did not stop at 
flirtation, but this seems highly improbable. In 
the first place, it is doubtful whether the princess 
ever really cared for Maulevrier, though his 
audacity amused her, and she found it not un- 
pleasant to be the recipient of a kind of homage 
from which her exalted station had hitherto de- 
barred her. In the second, she was far too closely 
guarded and watched, not only by her ladies, who 
might perhaps have been a little inclined to com- 
plaisance, but by the Swiss spies who roamed 
day and night through the palaces and gardens 
of Versailles, Marly, and Fontainebleau,^ to 

1 " The King, more anxious to know everything that was passing 
than most people believed, although they credited him with not a 
little curiosity in this respect, had authorised Bontemps [his con- 
fidential valet de chambre] to engage a number of Swiss, in addition 
to those posted at the gates and in the parks and gardens. These 
attendants had orders to roam, morning, noon, and night, along the 
corridors, the passages, and the staircases, and, when it was fine, 
in the courtyards and gardens, and in secret to watch people, to 
follow them, to notice where they went, to notice who was there, 
to listen to all the conversations they could hear, and to make reports 
of their discoveries. This was done at Versailles, at Marly, at Trianon, 
at Fontainebleau, and in every place where the King happened to 
be." — Saint-Simon. 


have been able to grant a rendezvous to any 
member of the opposite sex, without the King 
being immediately aware of it. Nevertheless, 
however innocent she may have been, she was soon 
to discover that — to parody Chateaubriand's 
aphorism — while the sins of a private individual 
may go unpunished till the next world, the indiscre- 
tions of royalty are invariably punished in this, 
and to receive a sharp lesson on the danger of 
young princesses playing with fire. 

The favour shown by the Duchesse de Bour- 
gogne to Maulevrier put an end to the hesitations 
of Nangis, who could not endure the sight of 
another aspiring to the place which he felt to be 
rightly his ; and, braving the wrath of Madame 
de la VriUiere, he too entered the lists. His 
opposition greatly incensed and alarmed Maule- 
vrier, who, to get the better of his rival, bethought 
himself, if we are to believe Saint-Simon, of a 
singular stratagem. This was to feign an affection 
of the chest, which deprived him almost entirely 
of the use of his voice, and prevented him from 
speaking above a whisper. By this means, he not 
only escaped active service, and was permitted to 
remain at Court, but enjoyed facilities for the most 
intimate conversation with the Duchesse de Bour- 
gogne, without exciting the least suspicion. 

For more than a year, Maulevrier pressed his 
suit, but the result was far from answering his 
expectations ; and, at length, perceiving the iU- 
humour of Madame de la VriUiere, he concluded 
that Nangis' s wooing must have been crowned with 
success, and " jealousy and rage transported him 
to the last extremity of folly." 


One morning, as the Duchesse de Bourgogne 
was returning from Mass, and he was aware that 
Dangeau, her chevalier d'honneur, was absent, he 
met her and offered his hand to conduct her to 
her apartments. The gentleman whose duty it was 
to take Dangeau's place courteously waived his 
claim to this honour, out of consideration for 
Maulevrier's loss of voice, and fell back out of 
earshot, so that the marquis had the full advan- 
tages of a private audience. Then, while careful 
to preserve the low tone in which he had trained 
himself to speak, Maulevrier "railed against Nan- 
gis ; called him by all sorts of names ; threatened 
to reveal everything to the King and Madame 
de Maintenon, and to the prince her husband ; 
squeezed her fingers as though he would break 
them ; and led her in this manner, hke the madman 
that he was, to her apartments." ^ 

Half-fainting with pain and terror, the un- 
fortunate princess entered her garde-robe and sent 
for her favourite dame du palais, Madame de 
Nogaret, to whom she related what had occurred, 
" declaring that she knew not how she had reached 
her apartments, or how it was she had not sunk 
beneath the floor or died." Madame de Nogaret, 
after taking counsel with Saint-Simon and his 
wife, advised her mistress to humour this danger- 
ous lover, but to avoid committing herself in any 
way with him. But, though such advice was no 
doubt excellent, it came a little too late to be of 
service, since Maulevrier had now turned the 
vials of his wrath upon Nangis, and, by abusing him, 
to every one whom he could induce to listen to 

1 Saint-Simon. 


his tirades, was doing his utmost to provoke him 
to a duel. Nangis, brave though he was, did not 
at all relish the idea of an encounter the real 
motive of which would have been patent to every 
one, and would have ruined him irretrievably ; and 
prudently kept out of the way of his infuriated rival. 
Nevertheless, for some six weeks, the Duchesse 
de Bourgogne lived in constant dread of hearing 
that her two admirers had met in mortal combat, 
and her state of mind was scarcely one to be envied. 

This intolerable situation was at length ended 
by the diplomacy of Tesse. Warned of how 
matters were going, that skilful personage took 
Fagon into his confidence and persuaded him to 
assure Maulevrier that, as the remedies he had 
tried had proved ineffectual, he must go to a 
warmer climate, as to spend the approaching winter 
in France would inevitably kill him.^ At the same 
time, he begged his son-in-law to follow him to 
Madrid, whither he was about to proceed on an 
important mission, promising that he should meet 
with a cordial welcome at the Spanish Court. 

Maulevrier allowed himself to be persuaded, 
and Tesse and Fagon having assured the King that 
he was really ill, the necessary permission was readily 
accorded, and in November 1704 he set out for 
Spain, furnished with a letter of recommendation 
to Philip V from the Due de Bourgogne, who had 
not the least suspicion of the mortal terror with 
which his protigS had inspired his wife. 

The relief of the Duchesse de Bourgogne at the 

1 It would appear from this that, though Maulevrier had greatly- 
exaggerated the state of his health, he was really consumptive, and 
wasfalarmed about himself. 


departure of her terrible admirer may be imagined ; 
and, as Tess6 had promised to do everything in his 
power to keep his son-in-law in Spain, she flattered 
herself that it would be many a long day before 
she saw him again. But in this she was mistaken. 

Admitted, thanks to the recommendations of 
the Due de Bourgogne and Tesse into the intimacy 
of the King and Queen of Spain, the audacious 
Maulevrier, if we are to beUeve Saint-Simon and 
Madame de Caylus, did not hesitate to abuse their 
Majesties' condescension, and made love to the 
younger sister as he had made love to the elder. 
Saint-Simon adds that his advances were not ill 
received, and that the affair caused so much talk 
that the Due de Gramont, the French Ambassador 
at Madrid, deemed it necessary to inform Louis xiv 
of the rumours which had reached him. In con- 
sequence, the King prohibited Maulevrier from 
accepting any honours which might be offered him 
by Philip v, — there was a report that he was about 
to be made a grandee of Spain, — and ordered him to 
join Tesse at the siege of Gibraltar, and, on learn- 
ing, subsequently, that he had quitted Gibraltar 
and returned to Madrid, recalled him to France. 

What is certain, is that Maulevrier did com- 
mit some indiscretion at Madrid, which caused 
his father-in-law to beg Louis xiv to summon him 
back to France ; and that in the autumn of 1705 
he reappeared at Versailles, and at once resimied 
his persecution of the Duchesse de Bourgogne. 
In the interval, he had become madder than 
ever, and his wrath was terrible on learning that 
he had now not one rival, but two, to contend 
with. For, far from profiting by her recent sad 


experience, the princess had added a fresh string 
to her bow, in the person of the Abb6 Melchior de 
PoUgnac, afterwards cardinal. 

The abbe was a much older man than either 
of his competitors for the princess's favour, for he 
was in his forty-fifth year; but, in every other 
respect, his qualifications for the role to which he 
aspired were infinitely greater than theirs. Writing 
fifteen years earlier to her friend Madame de 
Coulanges, Madame de Sevigne had described him 
as " one of the men of the world whose disposition 
appeared to her the most agreeable " ; while Saint- 
Simon, though he disliked him heartily, is com- 
pelled to pay tribute to his good looks, his ver- 
satility, his cultured tastes, his conversational 
powers, and the won^erinl fascination of his 
manner. " PlesSihg, ^ay, most fascinating in 
manner," he writes, ." the abbe was a man to gain 
all hearts. He de^sired to please the valet and the 
maid, as well as the master and the mistress. To 
succeed in this, he stopped at no flattery. One 
day, when following the King through the gardens 
of Marly, it came on to rain. The King con- 
siderately noticed the abbe's dress, which was 
little calculated to keep off rain. " It is no matter, 
Sire," observed Polignac, "the rain of Marly does 
not wet." 

Notwithstanding all his suppleness, the abbe fell 
into disgrace in 1698, when, as French Ambassador 
in Poland, he failed in his negotiations to secure 
the uneasy crown of that kingdom for the Prince 
de Conti, and, on his return to France, he was 
banished from Court. But his exile lasted only 
three years, and, thanks to the publication of a 




philosophical poem in Latin, the Anti-Lucretius, 
which greatly pleased both the Due de Bourgogne 
and the King, and procured its author's election 
to the Academy, in succession to Bossuet, he was 
now in high favour once more. 

The astute Polignac succeeded in ingratiating 
himself with the Due de Bourgogne, by sympa- 
thising with his religious views and flattering his 
taste for the sciences ; and made friends with the 
duchess's intimates, the Marechale de Coeuvres 
and Madame d'O. He thus found many oppor- 
tunities of approaching the princess, of which he did 
not fail to take advantage. The attentions of 
distinguished middle-aged are often very accept- 
able to the vanity of youth ; and, besides, the 
abb6 was still a handsome man. " He sought to 
be heard, and he was heard. Soon he braved the 
danger of the Swiss, and on fine nights walked 
with the duchess in the gardens of Marly." The 
star of Nangis began to pale ; Maulevrier, on his 
return, found himself altogether forgotten. 

The latter gallant, however, had not the smallest 
intention of accepting his dismissal, and, to recall 
himself to the princess's memory, began to bom- 
bard her with threatening letters. Terrified lest 
she should find herself the victim of the scandal 
which she had so narrowly escaped twelve months 
before, the lady replied to them, and charged 
Madame Quantin, who again acted as the inter- 
mediary, to assure Maulevrier that he might always 
count upon her friendship. But Maulevrier refused 
to be placated ; and, when he heard that his wife, 
" who concealed beneath a virginal appearance a 
most malignant disposition," resenting her lord's 


infatuation for the Duchesse de Bourgogne, had 
begun to make advances to Nangis, and that 
Nangis seemed inclined to meet her half-way, he 
lost what little reason was left him, and committed 
so many follies that his friends were obliged to 
have him confined to his hotel in Paris and care- 
fully watched. At length, in the early morning 
of Good Friday 1706, the unfortunate man succeeded 
in eluding the vigilance of his gaolers, threw him- 
self from an upper window into the courtyard 
below, and was instantly killed/ 

News of the tragedy was brought to the Duchesse 
de Bourgogne as she was on her way to TenebrcB, 
in the midst of all the Court. She succeeded in 
controlling her feelings in public, but Saint-Simon 
assures us that, on her return to her apartments, 
she shed tears, and that for some days afterwards 
her eyes were suspiciously red. Perhaps, however, 
her emotion was due less to sorrow for the tragic 
end of her embarrassing admirer as to the fact 
that the letters which she had been indiscreet 
enough to write him had fallen into the hands of 
Madame de Maulevrier, who obstinately refused to 
surrender them. People also observed that Madame 
de Maintenon seemed constrained and abrupt in 
her manner towards the princess, and that they 
had several long interviews, from which the latter 
emerged in a lachrymose condition ; and it was 
shrewdly suspected that the old lady was acquainted 
with the whole story. This suspicion was con- 
firmed when, shortly afterwards, Polignac was 
nominated one of the auditors of the Rota at Rome, 
and departed into a kind of disguised exile. His 

^ Saint-Simon. 


removal was certainly a prudent step, since the 

Duchesse de Bourgogne " wished him a pleasant 

journey in a manner very different from that in 

which she was accustomed to dismiss those who 

came to take leave of her," and shut herself up for 

the rest of the day in Madame de Maintenon's 

apartments, on the plea of a headache. A few 

days later, Madame, walking in the gardens of 

Versailles, found on the pedestal of a statue some 

verses on the subject, " which she was neither 

discreet enough nor benevolent enough to ignore." 

The Court, however, was more good-natured, and 

observed about the Polignac business the same 

reticence which it had shown in regard to Nangis 

and Maulevrier, and neither the King nor the lady's 

husband ever appear to have entertained any 

suspicion — a really remarkable testimony to the 

popularity of the princess. 

After the departure of the fascinating Polignac, 
we hear of no more flirtations — there does not 
seem to be any reason to suppose that her conduct 
deserves a harsher name — on the part of the 
Duchesse de Bourgogne. Perhaps, the lesson of 
the terrible fate of Maulevrier, victim of dis- 
appointed passions and ambitions which she had 
certainly done something to encourage, was not 
lost upon her ; perhaps, she realised that it is not 
generally the good fortune of princesses to be 
loved for themselves alone, and that the homage 
which is offered them is seldom disinterested ; 
and certainly, as time went on, she began to 
understand more fully the obligations which her 
position exacted, and to appreciate at something 
approaching its true worth the devotion of her 


husband. Any way, she appears henceforth to 
have conducted herself towards the opposite sex 
with perfect propriety, and to have given no 
further cause for scandal.^ 

1 We ought perhaps to except the affair in 171 1 with the fifteen- 
year-old Due de Fronsac, afterwards the too-celebrated Due de 
RicheUeu, who was found one day concealed in the princess's bed- 
chamber. But, though much has been made of this episode by the 
scandal-loving writers of the latter part of the eighteenth century, 
it seems to have been regarded at the time as merely a piece 
of boyish impertinence, and the letfre de cachet, which sent the 
precocious young gentleman to the BastiUe was granted at the 
request of his indignant father, who appears to have had several 
other causes of complaint against him. 


Death of the Uttle Due de Bretagne — Letters of the Duchesse 
de Bourgogne to Madame Royale, and of the Due de Bourgogne 
to Phihp V — Desperate position of Vietor Amadeus ii : Turin 
invested by the French under La Feuillade — Cruel anxiety of 
the Duchesse de Bourgogne, who endeavours to persuade her 
father to come to terms with France — Her letters to Madame 
Royale — Siege of Turin — Incapacity of the French generals — 
Eugfene is permitted to effect a junction with the forces of Victor 
Amadeus, and inflicts a crushing defeat on the investing army 
— The historian Duclos's accusation of treachery against the 
Duchesse de Bourgogne, and the legend of the princess having 
seduced the French generals from their duty, considered. 

THE Duchesse de Bourgogne had other troubles 
besides those in which her imprudences 
with Nangis, Maulevrier, and Polignac in- 
volved her. In April 1705, the little son whose 
birth had been celebrated by such brilliant f6tes 
died from convulsions, and the young princess 
knew, for the first time in her butterfly existence, 
the meaning of real sorrow. Her grief for her 
child was such that all the Court was moved with 
compassion, and, a few days after his death, we 
find her writing the following touching letter 
to her grandmother : — 

" I cannot, my dear grandmamma, be longer 
without comforting mj'^self with you in the sorrow 
which has befallen me. I am well persuaded that 
you have felt it, for I know the affection which you 
have always had for me. If we did not take all 




the sorrows of this life from God, I know not what 
would become of us. I think He wishes to draw 
me to Him, by overwhelming me with every kind 
of grief. My health suffers greatly from it, but 
that is the least of my sorrows. I have received 
one of your letters, my dear grandmamma, which 
gave me very great pleasure. The assurances of 
affection which you give me bring me consolation. 
I have great need of it in my present state." ^ 

The grief of the young mother was not only 
very great, but some time seems to have elapsed 
ere she succeeded in conquering it, since two 
months later Madame de Maintenon informs the 
Princesse des Ursins that " the Duchesse de Bour- 
gogne wept yesterday for her son as on the day 
of his death, because it was that of his birth." 

The young princess suffered also the keenest 
distress and the most cruel anxiety on behalf of 

1 Contessa della Rocca, Correspondance in&dite de la Duchesse de 
Bourgogne et de la Reine d'Espagne. On the previous day, the 
Due de Bourgogne had written to his brother, the King of Spain, 
a letter in which he expresses his resignation to the Divine WUl, 
and his ardent desire to fulfil the duties of his position in such a 
way that he may one day be permitted to rejoin his child : 

" I have not written you, my dear brother, since the loss of my 
son, and I beheve that the affection which you entertain for me will 
have caused you to feel it keenly. It would have been desirable, not 
only for my own sake, but for that of affairs in general, that this mis- 
fortune should not have befallen us, but men ought always to submit 
bhndly to that which comes from above. God knows better than 
ourselves what is right for us ; He has hfe and death in His hands, 
and has taken my son to a place where I ardently desire to rejoin 
him one day. However, to desire that is not sufiicient ; I must 
work for it, and I should be a Jansenist if I said otherwise, which 
you are well aware I am far from being. The position in which you 
are, my dear brother, and for which I am destined in the course of 
Nature (though I desire that the time may be very far distant), this 
position, I say, is as full of dangers as there are duties to discharge, 
and these dangers are so much the more pressing as the duties are 
great ; but, at the same time, what degree of glory is reserved in 
Heaven for those who discharge them worthily 1 . . , " 


her relatives in Italy. The course of the war 
in Flanders, Germany, and Spain during the years 
1704 and 1705 and the first part of 1706 was 
disastrous to the Bourbon cause. Tallard was 
crushed at Blenheim ; Villeroy at Ramillies ; nearly 
the whole of Flanders fell into the hands of the 
Allies ; the meteoric Peterborough carried all 
before him in Spain, and Philip v was compelled to 
leave Madrid and fly to Burgos, while the Allies 
entered the capital and proclaimed the Archduke 
Charles king, as Charles iii. 

But in Northern Italy the condition of affairs 
was very different. The events which had pre- 
cipitated the defection of Victor Amadeus had been 
so rapid, that his new allies had had no time to 
send him assistance, and he found himself com- 
pelled to face unaided the storm which quickly 
burst upon him. 

The results might well have daunted a less 
resolute spirit. The counties of Nice and Savoy 
were over-run ; three French armies penetrated 
by different roads into Piedmont ; and one after 
another almost every place of importance, with 
the exception of Turin, fell into the hands of the 
invaders. The Imperialists were too hard pressed 
themselves to be able to render any effective 
assistance to their stricken ally, and, after Vendome's 
victories at Cassano and Calcinate had driven 
them back across the Adige, it seemed as if nothing 
could prevent the fall of Turin and the ruin of the 
House of Savoy. The Court of Versailles, indeed, 
exasperated by the defection of the Duke, seemed 
to regard the taking of his capital as an affair of 
honour, to which every other consideration ought 


to be subordinated. Immense preparations were 
made for the siege, and in the last days of May the 
city was invested by a splendid army, commanded 
by the Due de la Feuillade, a son-in-law of Chamil- 
lart, the Minister for War. 

The Duchesse de Bourgogne was in the utmost 
consternation, when she learned of the proposed 
investment of Turin, and aware that its reduction 
would administer the coup de grdce to the tottering 
fortunes of her ambitious father, she endeavoured 
to induce him to come to terms with France. 
Since, however, she did not dare to address the 
Duke directly, it was to her mother that she wrote : 

"May3 [1706] 
" I have had no letters from you by this courier, 
my dearest mother ; I hope, however, they will 
arrive in a few days. 

" We have had very good news from Barcelona,^ 
and from all sides agreeable tidings are reaching us. 
All that is passing in Italy affords me much cause 
for reflection, and gives me many hopes. I confess 
the truth, my dearest mother, that it would be 
the greatest pleasure that I could have in this 
life, if I could see my father brought back to reason. 
I cannot understand why he does not make terms, 
especially in the unfortunate situation in which 
he now finds himself, and without any hope of 
being succoured [by the Austrians]. Does he still 
wish to allow Turin to be taken ? The rumour 

1 Barcelona had been taken by Peterborough in the previous 
October ; but early in 1706 a great effort was made to recover it, 
and Philip v and Tesse besieged it from the land side, while the 
French fleet, under the Comte de Toulouse, blockaded the harbour. 
At the time when the Duchesse de Bourgogne wrote, it seemed that 
the town must succumb, but it was subsequently reUeved by the 
arrival of the English fleet, against which the French ships did not 
venture to contend. 


afloat here is that it will not be long before the 
siege is begun. Conceive, therefore, my dear 
mother, the state in which I must be in, sensitive 
as I am to all that concerns you ! I am in despair 
at the situation to which my father is reduced by 
his own fault. Is it possible that he believes that 
we should not grant him favourable terms ? I 
assure you that all that the King desires is to see 
his kingdom tranquil, and that of his grandson, 
the King of Spain, also. It appears to me that 
my father ought to desire the same thing for himself, 
and, when I reflect that the power of making it so 
is in his hands, I am astonished that he does not 
do it. 

" I fear, my dearest mother, that you will 
think me very bold in writing all that I have ; 
but I cannot restrain myself, feeling as I do my 
father's position. I feel that he is my father, and 
a father whom I deeply love. Therefore, my 
dearest mother, forgive me if I write you too freely. 
It is my intense desire that we should escape 
these difficult moments that cause me to write as I 

" Continue to love me, my dearest mother, and 
do not take all this in bad part, for you understand 
my intention in speaking, and the motive which 
inspires me. I send you a letter from my sister, 
who is as vexed as I am at all that is happening." 

M. Gagniere, who, by the way, gives the date of 
this letter as 1711, although, as M. d'Haussonville 
points out, the double allusion to the sieges of 
Barcelona and Madrid leaves no possible doubt 
that it belongs to 1706, is of opinion that it was 
dictated by Madame de Main tenon, "not because 
Marie Adelaide did not cherish in her heart senti- 
ments of peace and concord, but because she was 


unable to express them" ;^ and, since we know 
that, at this juncture, Louis xiv would have been 
very willing to enter into negotiations with his 
enemies and to purchase peace, even at the price of 
considerable sacrifices, his assumption is not unlikely 
to be correct. However that may be, Victor 
Amadeus remained deaf to the entreaties of his 
elder daughter, as he did to those, not less urgent 
and pathetic, which were addressed to him by her 
sister, the Queen of Spain ; and the Duchesse de 
Bourgogne was condemned to spend more than 
three months of the most terrible suspense, while 
the fate of the House of Savoy was trembling in 
the balance, although true to her role of always 
pleasing the King, no matter at what cost to 
herself, she did not cease to participate in the 
pleasures of the Court , and to affect a gaiety which 
she was very far from feeling. 

What her real sentiments were, will be gathered 
from two letters which she wrote at this time to 
Madame Roy ale, who, with the Duchess of Savoy and 
the two young princes, had been sent for safety to 
Mondovi, and, subsequently, to Genoa, where the 
Doge and the Senate had offered them an asylum. 

" Marly, June 21, 1706 
" I can be no longer, my dear grandmamma, with- 
out sharing all our sorrows with you. Imagine my 
anxiety as to all that is happening to you, loving 
you as I do very tenderly, and having all possible 
affection for my father, my mother, and my brothers. 
I cannot see them in so unhappy a situation 
without tears rising to my eyes, for assuredly, my 
dear grandmamma, I am very sensitive to all that 

' Marie A delaide de Savoie : Lettres et Correspondances. 


concerns you, and I see, by all that is in me, to what 
point my affection for my family goes. 

" My health is not so much injured as it might be. 
I am fairly well, but in a state of sadness which no 
amusements can mitigate, and which will never 
leave me, for it serves to console me in my present 

" Do not deprive me, I entreat you, of your 
letters. They afford me much pleasure, and I 
have need of them in the state I am in. Send me 
news of what is dearest to me in the world." 

" Marly, July 25, 1706 
" I have not written you, my dear grandmamma, 
as I do not know whether you are still with my 
mother, having been unable to obtain any informa- 
tion. You know my heart ; imagine therefore the 
state I am in! I received yesterday one of your 
letters, by which I was very affected. I am not 
less at the state in which you are, and I cannot 
reconcile myself to all your misfortunes. I see 
them increasing with extreme sorrow, and there is 
not a day when I do not feel them very keenly and 
weep in thinking of what a family which is so dear 
to me, and which I would give my life to comfort 
for a moment, is suffering. 

" I am very glad, my dear grandmamma, that the 
fatigues of a journey so long and painful as that which 
you have just made has not injured your health; 
which I trust will continue good, in spite of every- 
thing. I pity greatly my mother, who, for additional 
sorrow, is anxious alDOut the illness of her children, 
and yet is obliged to continue to travel in such 
excessive heat and over such frightful roads. 

" I have no other consolation, my dear grand- 
mamma, than that of receiving your letters and the 
continued assurances of your affection. We have 
all need of great courage to sustain such terrible 


trials as those which we have had of late. God 
wishes to try me by all the means to which I am 
most sensitive. I must resign myself to His will, 
and pray that He will soon deliver us from the 
state in which we are. 

"As for myself, I feel that I cannot sustain it 
longer, if He does not give me strength to do so. 

"Love me always, and be assured, my dear 
grandmamma, of my respect and affection, which 
will end only with my life." ^ 

When this last letter was written, the siege of 
Turin had been in progress for just seven weeks, 
the first cannon-shots having been fired by the 
besiegers on June 3. Victor Amadeus was not 
himself in the city, but lay with what troops he 
could muster at Cherasco, from whence he could 
harass the investing army, while awaiting the 
arrival of Prince Eugene, now advancing from the 
Tyrol at the head of an Austrian force, which had 
been placed in the field owing to the representa- 
tions of Marlborough, who had impressed upon 
the sluggish Cabinet of Vienne the vital importance 
of saving Turin. In the absence of the Duke, the 
defence was entrusted to two Savoyard nobles, the 
Marquis de Carrail and the Comte de la Roche 
d'Allery, who had greatly distinguished them- 
selves in the defence of Nice and Verrua, with 
whom was associated an Austrian officer, the Graf 
von Daun, father of the celebrated general of the 
Seven Years' War. 

Unanimity and enthusiasm reigned within the 
beleagured city, where the entire population, 
women as well as men, aided in the defence, and 

1 Gagnifere, Marie Adilaide de Savoie ; Lettres ei Correspondances. 


displayed the utmost courage and devotion. But 
in the camp of the besiegers a very different state 
of affairs prevailed. La Feuillade, a younger 
Villeroy, incapable, presumptuous, and insolent, 
who owed his appointment to the command of the 
Army of Piedmont entirely to his relationship to 
Chamillart, the Minister for War, declined to 
listen to the advice of Vauban and the other ex- 
perienced officers who served under him, and 
conducted the operations with a sublime disregard 
for all the rules of siege- warfare. 

Meanwhile, Eugene was gradually drawing 
nearer. By a bold and skilful manoeuvre, he out- 
witted Vendome, who was guarding the Adige and 
the Po, crossed both those rivers, and marched 
up the southern bank of the Po towards Turin. 
At this critical moment, Vendome was summoned 
to Flanders, to replace Villeroy, who had just met 
with his deserts at Ramillies, leaving the command 
of his army to the young Due d' Orleans, who, as 
the fashion was, had arrived with a general to 
guide him, in the person of Marsin, who had com- 
manded part of the French forces at Blenheim. 
Orleans begged Vendome to postpone his departure 
and endeavour to repair his errors ; but the latter, 
wishing, according to Saint-Simon, that his suc- 
cessor should remain charged with them, declined 
and left the duke to get out of the difficulty as 
best he might. 

This was no easy matter, since Marsin, when 
ordered by Orleans to prevent the Imperialists 
crossing the Tanaro, a tributary of the Po, pro- 
duced full powers from Louis xiv, and refused to 
move ; and the mortified prince had no alternative 


but to lead his forces to Turin to reinforce the 
investing army. 

Here long and heated discussions took place 
between the three commanders concerning the 
measures to be taken to oppose the approaching 
enemy. Orleans, who, though no great general, 
was infinitely more capable than either of his 
colleagues, strongly urged that they should at 
once advance against the Imperialists and make 
a last effort to prevent their junction with the 
Duke of Savoy ; while Le Feuillade insisted on 
awaiting battle in their own lines, although these 
extended over fifteen miles of country, and thus 
served to neutralise the superiority in numbers 
which the French possessed. Marsin, however, 
" who wished to keep in the good graces of the 
son-in-law of the all-powerful Minister," and 
without whom Orleans could do nothing, sided 
with La Feuillade ; the other officers present 
supported him likewise, and " the throat of France 
was cut." ^ 

On the morning of September 7, the investing 
army was suddenly attacked by Eugene and Victor 
Amadeus, who had effected their junction some 
days previously at Carmagnola, and, on learning 
of the straits to which the besieged were now 
reduced through famine and sickness, had resolved 
to put their fate to the touch without delay. 

The French were vastly superior in numbers, 
and were behind entrenchments, to attack which 
the Allies had to cross an open plain. But their 
extended line presented several weak points and 
was easily broken, while the whole army was de- 

1 Saint-Simon. 


moralised by the dissensions between its leaders 
and the contradictory orders which were issued. 
After an obstinate combat, discipline and general- 
ship carried the day, and the French were completely 
routed. Marsin was killed ; Orleans, who had 
displayed great courage and presence of mind, 
wounded ; and the besiegers fell back in utter con- 
fusion on Susa and Pinerolo; while Eugene and 
Victor Amadeus entered Turin in triumph. 

In losing the Battle of Turin, Louis xiv lost 
Italy as well. The French evacuated all Piedmont 
and Savoy, with the exception of the fortresses, 
which one after another were compelled to open 
their gates ; the Milanese and the Duchy of Mantua 
passed into the possession of the Emperor, who 
gave Montferrato to the Duke of Savoy ; and in 
March 1707 the Convention of Milan secured 
Northern Italy for the Allies. The Bourbon 
troops were also driven from the Kingdom of 
Naples, since it was no longer possible to send 
reinforcements thither by land, and the English 
fleet swept the seas ; and the Neapolitans has- 
tened to make a separate peace with the Empire. 
Thus, in less than twelve months from that fatal 
day, their Most Christian and Catholic Majesties 
found themselves without a rood of ground in the 
whole peninsula. 

We have dealt at greater length upon these 
events than would otherwise have been necessary, 
since they have been made the occasion of serious 
charges against the Duchesse de Bourgogne. 
" This fascinating child, so dear to the King," 
writes Duclos, " none the less betrayed France, 
by informing her father, then Duke of Savoy and 


our enemy, of all the military plans which she 
found the means of perusing. The King dis- 
covered the proof of this in the princess's desk, 
after her death. ' The httle rogue,' said he to 
Madame de Maintenon, ' was deceiving us.' " ^ 

This sensational story, regarded by historians 
in other countries as the invention of Duclos — a 
recorder of gossip rather than of fact — has, singu- 
larly enough, been credited by several French 
historians, and even a writer usually so just and 
discriminating as Sainte-Beuve accords it a kind 
of semi-acceptance. But, when we examine it, 
its absurdity becomes at once apparent. Quite 
apart from the untrustworthiness of Duclos, and 
the fact that no allusion to this supposed treachery 
is to be found in the memoirs and correspondence 
of any of the Duchesse de Bourgogne's contem- 
poraries, not even in those of the lynx-eyed and 
far from benevolent Madame, is it in the least 
degree probable that Louis xiv or his Ministers 
would have left important military plans lying 
about ? And, even supposing them to have been 
guilty of such criminal negligence, and the princess 
to have taken advantage of it, how, one may well 
ask, could she have transmitted her information to 
Turin ? It is true that she was still permitted to 
communicate with her relatives in Italy ; but, 
from what we know about the fate of the epistles 
of Madame and other prominent members of the 
Court, even in time of peace, we may be very sure 
that every letter she wrote was closely scrutinised 
before being forwarded to its destination. 

But there is another legend, which, though 

1 Memoires secrets suv Us rignes de Louis xiv. et de Louis xy. 


equally frivolous, was, according to Voltaire, who 
himself regards it with contempt, long beUeved by 
almost all the officers who had fought in the French 
army at Turin, and has been accepted by many 
eighteenth century historians, and even by some 
of more recent date. 

" Almost all the historians," he writes, " have 
assured us that the Due de la Feuillade did not 
wish to take Turin. They pretend that, having 
dared to cast passionate glances in the direction 
of the Duchesse de Bourgogne, he had promised her 
to respect her father's capital ; and they declare 
that this princess had engaged Madame de Main- 
tenon to cause the measures to be taken which 
were the salvation of this town. It is true that 
almost all the officers of that army were long 
persuaded of this, but it was one of those popular 
rumours which discredit the judgment of the news- 
mongers and dishonour histories." ^ 

The Duchesse de Bourgogne is then accused of 
having seduced La Feuillade — or, according to 
Michelet, Marsin — from his duty to his sovereign, 
and Madame de Maintenon, in order to please her, 
of having betrayed her husband and her country, 
by sending timely warning to the Duke of Savoy 
of the intention of the French to lay siege to Turin, 
which enabled him to place his capital in a state 
of defence. But, incredible as these charges may 
appear, their acceptance by so many writers makes 
it impossible for a biographer of the Duchesse de 
Bourgogne to dismiss them without comment, and 
we must therefore examine them. 

1 Siicle de Louis xiv. 


First — to take them in chronological order — as 
to the warnings of the intention of the French to lay 
siege to Turin which Madame de Maintenon, at 
the instance of the princess, is supposed to have 
sent to Victor Amadeus. 

Well, such warnings would have been alto- 
gether superfluous. From the very beginning of 
hostilities, the Duke of Savoy must have been well 
aware that Turin was the objective of the French 
armies — had it not been twice threatened by 
Catinat in the previous war ? — and, even before 
his rupture with France in the autumn of 1703, he 
had already begun to strengthen its fortifications. 
Moreover, we know from Saint-Simon that the 
siege had been resolved upon during the campaign 
of 1705, and would have been undertaken forth- 
with, but for differences between Vauban, who 
wished to direct the siege. La Feuillade, and 
Vendome, which caused it to be postponed until 
the following year ; and that no secret was made 
of this project. Between that time and the late 
spring of 1706, Victor Amadeus had ample time 
to complete his preparations. 

Next, as to the charge that the Duchesse de 
Bourgogne corrupted La Feuillade or Marsin. 
According to Mile. d'Aumale, when La Feuillade, 
" who had been chosen to besiege Turin," came to 
take formal leave of the princess before setting out 
for the army, the latter said to him, in a low voice : 
" Do not drive my father to extremities " ; and 
these pathetic words, and the charms of the 
princess, which she enhanced by the gracious 
reception which she accorded him, " made this 
nobleman resolve not to grieve her by ruining the 


Duke of Savoy." The duke, the chronicler adds, 
then sought out his father-in-law Chamillart, and 
" showed him very plainly that the taking of 
Turin would be disagreeable to the Duchesse de 
Bourgogne " ; and having apparently made every- 
thing right with the War Minister — who, it may be 
incidentally remarked, was as honest as he was 
inefficient — departed for Italy, and " began the 
siege of Turin by a romantic attack upon the 
citadel, failed to take it, and was forced to raise 
the siege, the while he said to himself : ' If I succeed, 
I shall have the greater glory, and it will not be for 
want of having done everything to ensure failure.' " ^ 

The utter absurdity of Mile. d'Aumale's story 
is exposed by the Comte d'Haussonville, who 
points out that La Feuillade could not possibly 
have had an interview with the Duchesse de Bour- 
gogne just before the siege of Turin began, as he 
had been in command of the Army of Piedmont 
since February 1705, and did not visit the Court 
at all between that time and the investment, and 
that though it is possible that, at the moment of 
his departure for Italy, the princess may have 
addressed to him some such request as the writer 
mentions, it could have had no reference to the 
siege of Turin, since that project had not then been 
resolved upon. He also shows that the plan of at- 
tacking the citadel originated not with La Feuillade, 
but with Vendome, and that the former, as his 
despatches prove, was at first strongly opposed to it.^ 

Moreover, the conduct of La Feuillade certainly 

1 Mile d'Aumale, Cahiers, cited by Haussonville. 
' Comte d'Haussonville, la Duchesse de Bourgogne et V Alliance 
Savoyards sous Louis xiv. 


showed very little desire to spare the feelings of 
the Duchesse de Bourgogne, as Saint-Simon and 
Voltaire both reproach him with having several 
times quitted the siege and weakened his lines of 
circumvallation, in order to pursue the Duke of 
Savoy, who was constantly harassing the besiegers, 
in the chimerical hope of making him prisoner. 
"It is difficult to believe," observes the latter, 
" that the same general should have desired to fail 
before Turin and take the Duke of Savoy prisoner." ^ 
There remains the question of Marsin, for, if we 
are to believe that implacable enemy of the Bour- 
bons, Michelet, it was he, and not La Feuillade, 
who was the real victim of the Duchesse de Bour- 
gogne' s intrigues and the direct cause of the dis- 
aster. " The rumour of the time, of which the 
trace remains in very frivolous monuments (in the 
chansons), but which, nevertheless, appears to me 
grave and extremely probable, is that Marsin, 
friend and confidant of Madame de Maintenon, 
sympathised with the designs and fears of the 
ladies, and particularly with those of the Duchesse 
de Bourgogne. Madame de Maintenon would not 
have welcomed a victory gained by the Due 
d' Orleans ; the Duchesse de Bourgogne would 
have feared a pitched battle, in which her father 
would have received scant consideration, whereas 
in an attack upon the lines of the besieging army, 
he could risk his person as much or as little as he 
pleased. Duclos (very well informed) says harshly 
that ' the princess betrayed us and informed the 
Duke of Savoy of everything.' That is difficult 
to believe ; but it is very probable that, in such 

' Si^cle de Louis xiv. 


terrible circumstances, she warned him. At any 
rate, she was able to admonish (chapitrer) Marsin on 
his departure [for Turin], and to make him promise 
that he would offer the advice which would be the 
least dangerous for her father." And the his- 
torian asks us to believe that it was for these 
reasons that Marsin opposed the proposal of the 
Due d' Orleans to attack the allies, instead of waiting 
to be attacked.^ 

Now, Michelet states that this supposed inter- 
view took place on the departure of Marsin for 
Turin ; but when Marsin received orders to set out 
for Italy, he was not at Versailles, but in Alsace, 
whither he had just been transferred from Flanders, 
to take command of the army of the Rhine, in 
place of ViUars, whom the King had originally 
intended to associate with the Due d' Orleans ; and 
he travelled to Piedmont by way of Switzerland, 
and did not return to France.^ What then becomes 
of Michelet' s story ? 

1 Histoire de France, vol. xiii. 

' Dangeau, Journal, June 23 and July 2. 


Birth of the second Due de Bretagne (January 8, 1707) — Letters 
of the Duchesse de Bourgogne to Madame Royale — Egotism of 
Louis XI v^ — ^Miscarriage of the Duchesse de Bourgogne at Marly 
— The scene at the carp-basin— The Due de Bourgogne receives 
the nominal command of the Army of Flanders, with the Due 
de Vend6me to guide him — Character and career of Vend6me — 
Extraordinary ovation which he receives on his return from Italy 
— Louis xiv's reasons for associating his grandson with him — 
Apprehensions of Saint-Simon — The cabal of Meudon : its objects. 

ON January 8, 1707, the Duchesse de Bourgogne 
made amends for the loss of the Uttle Due 
de Bretagne by giving birth to a second son, 
who received the same title as the dead child had 
borne, and, like him, was to meet with a premature 
death. Louis xiv's satisfaction was great, but, 
in view of the disasters of the previous year, and 
the terrible drain upon the resources of the country 
which the war was entailing, he prohibited all 
public celebrations, and informed the inhabitants 
of Versailles that " it was his desire that the joy 
of his subjects should be manifested only by their 
anxiety to pray." Notwithstanding his resent- 
ment against the Duke of Savoy, the King wrote 
to him with his own hand to announce the happy 
event, " and received in reply a letter of con- 
gratulation and thanks." ^ 

Two months after the birth of her little son, 

> Dangeau. 


the Duchesse de Bourgogne wrote the following 
interesting letter to Madame Royale. 

"Versailles, March 14, 1707 
" I am delighted, my dear grandmamma, that you 
exhort me to give you frequent news of my son ; 
I assure you that I have no need of that to do so. 
He is, thank God, very well. ... I found him 
much grown and changed for the better on my 
return from Marly. He is not handsome as yet, 
but very lively, and much stronger than he was 
when he came into the world. He is only two 
months old, and I should not be astonished if, a 
few months hence, he were to become pretty. I 
do not know whether it is the fact that I am begin- 
ning to blind myself about him, which makes me 
hope that. But I believe that I shall never be 
blind about my children, and that the love I shall 
have for them will enable me to see their faults 
easily, so that I may endeavour to correct them in 
good time. 

" I only go to see my son very seldom, in order 
that I may not grow too attached to him, and 
also to note any change in him ; for he is not old 
enough to play with as yet ; and, so long as I know 
that ne is in good health, I am satisfied, and that 
is all that I need wish for." ^ 

Her expectation that her little son would in a 
few months' time be a pretty child was realised, 
for at the end of October, on her return from the 
annual visit of the Court to Fountainebleau, she 
writes to her grandmother : — 

" I have not been insensible to the pleasure of 
seeing my son again ; and I have found him greatly 

1 A. Gagnifere, Marie Adelaide de Savoie . Lettres et Corres- 


improved. I may say, with truth, that he is the 
prettiest child in the world. He is beginning to 
know me, and has very lovable ways. If this 
continues he will be extremely so." 

After having given her husband an heir, the 
Duchesse de Bourgogne seems to have considered 
that she had done aU that could be reasonably 
required of her in this respect, for in another letter 
to Madame Roy ale, written in June of that year, 
we find her rejoicing that her belief that she was 
again in an interesting condition had proved 
unfounded : — 

" I believe, my dear grandmamma," she writes, 
" that you will share my joy that I am not pregnant. 
I have been in fear of this for a long time ; but, 
thank God, my uneasiness on the subject is now 
at an end." 

We do not know whether Madame Royale 
shared her grand-daughter's satisfaction, but 
Madame de Maintenon assuredly did not. "It is 
certain, Madame," she wrote to the Princesse des 
Ursins at Madrid, " that our princess is too much 
afraid of becoming pregnant. Yours [the Queen 
of Spain] is so reasonable, that I trust that she 
will not get these ideas, which I believe to be very 
wrong in the sight of God. They ought still, for 
many other reasons, to wish for children." And, 
in a subsequent letter to the same lady, she declares 
that " the Duchesse de Bourgogne is not yet 
sufficiently alive to her true interests." 

However, by the beginning of the following 
spring, the Duchesse de Bourgogne had become 


more reasonable, and, though Madame de Main- 
tenon's hopes were doomed to disappointment, 
it was not, on this occasion, the carelessness of the 
princess, but the deplorable selfishness of the 
King which was the cause. 

Although Louis xiv had insisted on the strictest 
precautions being taken by the Duchesse de 
Bourgogne previous to the birth of both her sons, 
these had certainly been dictated far more by his 
desire to see the succession in the direct line assured 
than by solicitude for the princess herself, since 
he did not usually permit consideration for the 
health or comfort even of those most dear to him 
to interfere with his own convenience. In his 
younger days, he had compelled the Queen and 
his mistresses to follow him in his campaigns, 
no matter in what state of health the unfortunate 
ladies happened to be ; and his conduct in the 
winter of 1678-1679, when, although the roads 
were in such a terrible condition that the cumber- 
some coaches of the time sank almost to their 
axle-trees in the mud at every few yards, he ordered 
Madame de Montespan, then four months enceinte, 
to accompany him to Lorraine, was absolutely 

Early in April 1708, the King announced 
his intention of paying a visit to Marly, and 
naturally desired to take the Duchesse de Bourgogne 
with him. The journey was a short one, but the 
roads were rough ; Fagon intimated that it would 
be very inadvisable for the princess to undertake 
it, and Madame de Maintenon suggested that the 

1 See the author's "Madame de Montespan" (London, Harpers; 
New York, Scribners, 1903), pp. 197 et seq. 


visit should be abandoned or the young lady 
left at Versailles. The egotistical monarch, how- 
ever, who, now that his grand-daughter had pre- 
sented her husband with a son, saw no reason 
why he should any longer allow his plans to be 
disarranged by consideration for her health, 
declined either to forego the proposed visit or to 
leave the princess behind, and all that he would 
consent to, was that the journey should be post- 
poned from the day after Quasimodo to the Wednes- 
day of the following week (April i8). But we will 
allow Saint-Simon to relate the sequel in his own 
words : 

" On the following Saturday, as the King was 
taking a walk after Mass and amusing himself at 
the carp-basin between the chateau and the Per- 
spective, we beheld the Duchesse du Lude ad- 
vancing towards him, on foot and alone, which, 
as no lady was with the King, was a rare occurrence 
in the morning. We understood that she had 
something of importance to communicate to him, 
and stopped so as to permit him to join her. The 
interview was not long ; she withdrew, and the 
King rejoined us, without saying a word. Every- 
one surmised what had happened, but no one was 
anxious to speak. At length, the King, when 
quite close to the basin, glanced at the principal 
persons about him, and, without addressing any 
one in particular, observed, with an air of vexation, 
these few words : ' The Duchesse de Bourgogne has 
had a miscarriage.' ^ 

" M. de Bouillon, the Due de Tresmes, and the 

1 "La Duchesse de Bourgogne est hless&e" — "blessSe" being the 
term then in use to denote accidents of this nature. 


Mar^chal de Boufflers repeated in a low tone the 
words I have mentioned ; while M. de la Roche- 
foucauld declared aloud that it was the greatest 
misfortune conceivable, and that, as she had already 
had miscarriages on other occasions, she might 
never, perhaps, have any more children. 

" ' And if it should be so,' interrupted the King, 
with a sudden burst of anger, ' what difference 
would that make to me ? Has she not already a 
son ? And, if he died, is not the Due de Berry 
old enough to marry and have one ? What does 
it signify to me who succeeds ? Are they not 
equally my grandchildren ? ' And he added im- 
petuously : ' Thank Heaven it has happened, 
since it was to be ! and I shall not have my journeys 
and my plans disarranged again by the representa- 
tions of doctors and the arguments of matrons. I 
shall go and come at my pleasure, and shall be 
left in peace.' 

" A silence so deep that an ant might have been 
heard to walk succeeded this singular outburst. 
All eyes were lowered ; scarcely any one dared 
to breathe. Every one seemed stupefied. Even 
the servants and the gardeners stood motionless. 

" This silence lasted more than a quarter of an 
hour. The King broke it by leaning over the 
balustrade to speak about a carp. No one replied. 
He addressed himself subsequently on the subject 
of the carp to the servants, who did not ordinarily 
join in the conversation, but spoke of nothing else. 
Presently the King went away. As soon as we 
dared to look at each other, our eyes met and told 
all. Every one present was, for the moment, 
the confidant of his neighbour. We wondered, 


we marvelled, we grieved, we shrugged our 
shoulders. However distant may be that scene, 
it is always equally present to me. M. de la 
Rochefoucauld was furious . . . M. le Premier 
[the First Equerry] was ready to faint with horror ; 
I myself examined every one with my eyes and 
ears, and commended myself for having long 
since been of opinion that the King loved and 
cared for himself alone, and was himself his only 
object in life. This strange speech was reported 
far and wide — much beyond Marly." 

It is possible that Saint-Simon's weakness for 
the sensational has here tempted him into ex- 
aggeration ; but, even if it has not, it would be 
unjust to judge Louis xiv too harshly. Warped 
though his character was by half a century of 
flattery, adulation, and arbitrary power, he was far 
from being the callous despot that some historians 
would have us believe ; and we should regard 
this petulant outburst on the part of a man 
generally so dignified and self-contained rather as 
evidence of remorse for the suffering which his 
selfishness had brought upon the Duchesse de 
Bourgogne than as an aggravation of his offence. 

Happily, the princess's mishap was followed 
by no very serious consequences to her health, 
and, a fortnight later, she is able to assure her 
grandmother that she is " going on very well and 
beginning to regain her strength." Nevertheless, 
the year 1708 was fated to prove one of the most 
trying of her life, for scarcely had she recovered 
from the effects of this illness, than she was called 
upon to face troubles of another kind, which were 
to test to the uttermost those sound qualities of 


heart and mind which had hitherto lain concealed 
beneath a gay and frivolous exterior, and of 
which she herself was perhaps as yet only half- 

Since his campaign of 1703 upon the Rhine, 
the Due de Bourgogne, greatly to his disappoint- 
ment, had remained without military emplojTxient. 
Why Louis xiv should have been unwilling to 
avail himself of his eldest grandson's services is 
uncertain, but the most probable reason was his 
belief that, although the young prince had proved 
himself a brave and conscientious officer, he had 
no genius for war, and that it would be better 
for him to remain at Court, than destroy the 
favourable impression he had already made by 
futile efforts to follow in the footsteps of the Great 
Conde. However, as the war proceeded and 
disaster followed upon disaster, he recognised 
that the presence of the heir-presumptive to the 
throne might serve to reanimate the drooping 
spirits of the French troops demoralised by con- 
tinuous reverses ; and when, in the summer of 
1707, Victor Amadeus and Eugene, flushed with 
success, had the hardihood to invade Provence 
and lay siege to Toulon, he decided to give the Due 
de Bourgogne the command of the army which 
was intended to drive them from French soil. But 
the Allies found the taking of Toulon a much more 
difficult task than they had bargained for, and, a 
few days after the prince's appointment, raised the 
siege and retreated across the frontier, to the 
great mortification of the Due de Bourgogne, but, 
we may well believe, to the no small relief of the 


duchess, who would have found herself in a 
singularly embarrassing situation with her husband 
and her father directly opposed to one another. 

Compensation for the prince's disappointment 
was not long delayed. The events of 1707 — the 
triumphs of Berwick in Spain, the raising of the 
siege of Toulon, the defeat of the Margrave of 
Bayreuth, by Villars, at StoUhofen, and the success 
of Vendome's defensive campaign in the Nether- 
lands — had done much to restore the confidence of 
the French armies, and determined Louis xiv 
to make great exertions to restore the fortunes of 
war in the following year. 

It was, however, in Flanders that the chief 
effort was to be made. The position of affairs 
there afforded Louis much encouragement, for 
opinion had once more declared itself strongly for 
Philip V, and a single considerable success would 
undoubtedly be the signal for nearly every town 
to throw open its gates to the French ; while the 
Dutch, whose deputies had thwarted Marlborough's 
plans throughout the campaign of 1707, were 
known to be weary of the war and to incline to a 
separate peace. 

By incredible efforts the strength of the Army 
of Flanders was raised to close upon 100,000 men, 
and the nominal command entrusted to the Due 
de Bourgogne, with Vendome to guide him. 

" On April 30, after dinner," writes Sourches, 
" when the King returned from hunting the stag, he 
proceeded to the Duchess de Bourgogne' s apart- 
ments, and informed her that the Duke her husband 
would set out on May 14, with the Due de Berry, 
his brother, to take the command in Flanders, 


where he would have under him the Due de 
Vendome." ^ 

Great was the joy of the prince " to find him- 
self," as he wrote to Philip v, " after an interval 
of four whole years, re-entering the service, instead 
of continuing to lead a useless life at Versailles, 
Fontainebleau, or Marly." His satisfaction, how- 
ever, must have been considerably discounted by 
the King's choice of the general who was to be 
associated with him, for no greater contrast could 
possibly have been presented than that between 
the Due de Bourgogne and the victor of Cassano 
and Calcinato ; and it seems astonishing that 
Louis XIV could ever have imagined that two 
such contrary natures could work harmoniously 

Louis Joseph, Due de Vendome, at this time 
in his fifty-fourth year, was the eldest son of Louis, 
the second duke, who, after the death of his wife, 
Laura Mancini, the eldest of the five celebrated 
sisters of that name,^ entered the priesthood and 
was created a cardinal and Legate a latere in France. 
He had, however, nothing in common with his 
devout father, and declared that he " derived his 
talents from a more distant source," that is to say, 
from Henri iv, from whose liaison with Gabrielle 
d'Estrees he was directly descended. It was this 
direct descent from the first Bourbon King which 
probably accounted for the extreme indulgence 
with which Louis xiv treated Vendome, for not 
only did he see in him some resemblance to the 
great ancestor whom he held in almost super- 
stitious reverence, but he hoped that the elevation 

1 MSmoires. ' See the author's "Five Fair Sisters." 


of a descendant of his grandfather's amours might 
justify to some extent the elevation of his own 
legitimated children. 

" The King," observes Saint-Simon, " tolerated 
in M. de Vendome what he never would have 
pardoned in a Son of France," and he proceeds to 
describe, with a wealth of lurid detail which it 
would be impossible to reproduce, the character of 
this extraordinary personage, who, according to 
him, com.bined the most nauseous of all vices with 
a " ravenous pride," an intolerable insolence, and 
a filthiness of person which revolted all decent- 
minded men. 

Saint-Simon probably exaggerates. Neverthe- 
less, there can be no doubt that Vendome was 
shamelessly immoral, overbearing and insolent 
towards persons of his own rank, though affable 
and familiar with his inferiors, and inconceivably 
slovenly and dirty in his personal habits — a fault 
which he shared with his younger brother, the 
Grand Prior.^ But what must have been quite 
as obnoxious to Louis xiv, was the fact that his 
kinsman was a sceptic, and that, unlike most of 
the " Libertines " who, from fear of the royal 
displeasure, were careful to comply with the 
religious observances which custom enjoined, he did 
not hesitate to avow his opinions, which renders 
the indulgence the King extended to him all the 
more remarkable. 

It must be admitted, however, that the vices 
and faults of Vendome were redeemed by great 

1 " These two princes, great-grandsons of Henri iv, neglected 
their persons to a degree of which the lowliest of men would have 
been ashamed." — Voltaire. 




qualities. " He had," Saint-Simon confesses, " a 
very noble countenance and a distinguished bearing. 
He was naturally graceful in his movements and 
in his speech, possessed much innate wit, which 
he had never cultivated ; spoke easily, supported 
by a natural boldness ; knew the world and the 
Court, and was, above all things, an admirable 
courtier. Voltaire mentions other and more 
attractive qualities, about which Saint-Simon is 
silent. He was, he tells us, " intrepid as Henri iv, 
kind, benevolent, unaffected, incapable of harbour- 
ing envy, hatred or vengeance, and, if haughty 
towards the princes, willing to treat aU other 
persons as equals." ^ 

Vendome also possessed military talents of a 
high order, but they were often neutralised by his 
defects of character. His indolence was almost 
incredible. When he had found quarters to his 
liking, nothing was so difficult as to induce him 
to resume his march. He rose late — sometimes, 
if we are to believe Voltaire, not untU four o'clock 
in the afternoon — never broke up camp before 
midday, and invariably halted at nightfall. Such 
was his carelessness, that he sometimes neglected 
to post his sentries or to send out patrols, and, on 
more than one occasion, he allowed himself to be 
surprised by the enemy for lack of the commonest 
precautions ; while the provisioning of his troops 
seems to have been left very much to chance. 

When, however, he was roused by any great 
emergency, he was a wholly different man. Then 
his energy and resource were such as had been 
found in no French general since the death of 

1 Siicle de Louis xiv. 


Luxembourg, and "in the day of battle he made 
amends for all, by his presence of mind and by a 
genius which danger rendered the more dazzling." ^ 

He had the eye of a hawk for a weak spot in 
the enemy's line ; he seemed to divine instinctively 
the exact moment when a charge could be delivered 
with the greatest prospect of success ; the white 
plume which, in imitation of the hero of Ivry, it 
was his custom to wear in his hat, might always be 
descried at the point where the greatest danger 
threatened, and his splendid courage communicated 
itself to every man under his command. The 
soldiers and the junior officers adored him, for he 
allowed them all the license which he took himself, 
had a cheery word for all, and would jest and drink 
at the camp-fires with the youngest recruit. " He 
was the only general," says Voltaire, " under whom 
the duty of serving, and that ferocious instinct, 
purely animal and mechanical, which obeys the 
voice of the officers, did not drive the soldiers to 
the combat. They fought for the Due de Vendome ; 
they would have given their lives to extricate him 
from one of those false positions in which the 
impetuosity of his genius sometimes involved 
him." ^ 

Greatly favoured by Fortune, which had saved 
him from the disastrous consequences which his 
indolence and negligence might have been expected 

1 Slide de Louis xiv. 

2 SiicU de Louis xiv. A touching instance of the devotion of 
which Voltaire speaks is related by Saint-HUaire in his MSmoires. 
At the Battle of Luzzara, Vendome's horse was killed under him, 
and, as he was endeavouring to rise, an Austrian soldier advanced 
and levelled his musket at him. At that moment, Cotteron, the 
captain of his guards, rushed forward, threw himself before him, and 
received in his own body the ball intended for his chief. 


to entail, Vendome's military record was a brilliant 
one. Beginning his career in 1673, as a subaltern 
in the Garde du Corps, he passed through every 
grade to that of lieutenant-general, and could have 
asserted, without fear of contradiction, that his 
advancement had been thoroughly earned. 
Although he showed courage and ability in his 
early campaigns in Holland, Germany, and the 
Netherlands, and had at the time of the Peace of 
Nimeguen attained the rank of marichal de camp, 
it was not until the war against the League of 
Augsburg began that he was afforded much oppor- 
tunity for distinction. His chance came at Steen- 
kirke, where the brilliant cavalry charges which he 
led checked the advance of the English and 
materially contributed to Luxembourg's victory. 
From the Netherlands, he passed to Piedmont, 
where he commanded the left wing of the French 
in the Battle of Marsaglia (October 1693) and, 
eighteen months later, Louis xiv decided to give 
him the command of the troops in Catalonia. 
This proved a most happy choice, and a series of 
successes closed in August 1697 with the capture 
of Barcelona. Of Vendome's campaigns in Italy 
during the early years of the War of the Spanish 
Succession we have already spoken. 

When, in the summer of 1706, Vendome returned 
from Italy, he found himself a popular hero, since, 
in times of national crisis, generals who have never 
suffered reverses soon attain immense popularity, 
and people are inclined to exaggerate their services 
and attribute to them talents far beyond those 
which they possess. " There was a terrible 
hubbub," writes Saint-Simon ; " boys, sedan- 


chairmen, all the lackeys of the Court, left their 
work to swarm round his post-chaise. Scarcely 
had he ascended to his chamber, when every one 
rushed thither. The Princes of the Blood were 
the first to arrive ; the Ministers hastened after 
them, and no one was left in the salon but the 
ladies. In a few minutes, he was sent for by the 
King and Monseigneur, and, so soon as he could 
dress, he went to the salon, carried rather than 
accompanied by the crowd which surrounded him. 
Monseigneur stopped the music that was being 
played in order to embrace him. The King left 
his cabinet, where he was at work, came out to 
meet him, and embraced him several times. 
Chamillart, on the morrow, gave a f6te in his 
honour, which lasted two days. Pontchartrain, 
Torcy, and the most distinguished noblemen of 
the Court followed his example. People begged 
and entreated to be allowed to offer him f^tes ; 
people begged and entreated to be invited to them. 
Never was triumph equal to his ; each step he 
took procured him a new one." ^ 

The enthusiasm of the Parisians surpassed 
even the enthusiasm of the Court. When he 
went to Paris to attend a performance of Lulli's 
Roland, which the Opera gave in his honour, 
cheering crowds lined the streets ; every seat 
in the boxes and the amphitheatre was engaged a 
week in advance, and, though prices had been 
doubled, the parterre was unable to accommodate 
half the people who clamoured for admission. 
From the moment that the hero of the evening 
took his seat until the opera began, the audience 

1 Mimoiyes. 


did nothing but clap and shout, Vive Venddme ! 
and the ovation was repeated at the close of the 
performance. " If he had remained in his box," 
writes Sourches, " no one would have quitted the 
Opera." ^ 

AU this adulation might well have turned the 
head of a far more modest man than Vendome, 
whose natural haughtiness it aggravated to such 
a degree that he actually declined the post of 
" Marshal-general of the camps and armies of the 
King," which had never been conferred upon 
any one since the death of Turenne, because the 
patent contained no allusion to his birth. We 
can therefore readily understand that he must 
have learned with very mixed feelings that he 
was to be associated in the following campaign 
with a young prince, under whose orders he would 
be nominally at least, and who would rob him 
of a share of the glory which he confidently ex- 
pected to reap. Besides, sceptic and profligate 
that he was, he disliked and despised the Due de 
Bourgogne as a sanctimonious bookworm, who 
was incapable of appreciating the good things of 
life and allowed priests and divots to lead him 
by the nose ; and he did not doubt that some 
of the officers whom the King had chosen to 
accompany his grandson to the army would en- 
courage him to question the general's decisions 
and thwart his plans. 

That Louis xiv should have anticipated that 
anything but disaster could result from the associa- 
tion of two men, beside whom fire and water were 
congenial elements, is difficult to understand. Yet, 

' Mimoires. 


SO far from entertaining any misgivings on the 
subject, he seems to have flattered himself that he 
had made a singularly happy choice. The Due 
de Bourgogne's presence, he believed, would inspire 
the soldiers with a new vigour ; his zealous and 
punctual discharge of his duties would shame 
Vendome out of the indolence and negligence 
which had more than once brought him to the 
brink of disaster ; his caution would temper his 
colleague's audacity, and his strict ideas of dis- 
cipline would serve as a useful check upon the 
license which the other was accustomed to allow 
his troops. 

All this was explained by the excellent Beau- 
villiers to Saint-Simon, who, unlike his friend, 
by no means shared his Majesty's optimism. But 
the chronicler tells us that he declined to be con- 
vinced, and predicted that the struggle which was 
bound to ensue between two characters so opposed 
must result in the triumph of the stronger, and 
that " while Vendome emerged from it covered 
with glory, the Due de Bourgogne would be ruined 
at the Court, in France, and in all Europe." And 
he adds, complacently : " He soon had good cause 
to admit that I had not spoken without justice." 

Saint-Simon's forebodings were strengthened 
by the knowledge that there existed at the Court 
a party, numerically insignificant but, in other 
respects, decidedly formidable, which for some 
time past had been actively intriguing to destroy 
the credit of the Due and Duchesse de Bourgogne. 

The moving spirits of this cabal were two of 
Louis xiv's legitimated daughters, the Princesse 
de Conti and Madame la Duchesse, of whom we 


have had occasion to speak at some length in 
an earlier chapter. These ladies disliked each 
other heartily, but they hated the Duchesse de 
Bourgogne. During the period which separated 
the retirement of Madame de Montespan from the 
arrival of the Duchesse de Bourgogne, the beautiful 
and charming daughter of Louise de la Valliere, 
thanks to her influence over Monseigneur and 
attractions of mind and person which far surpassed 
those of Madame and the Duchesse de Chartres — 
her superiors in rank — had occupied a sort of semi- 
royal position, and she had seen with bitter morti- 
fication the homage which she had come to regard 
as her due transferred to the young princess from 
Savoy. The position of Madame la Duchesse, 
less attractive and less courted than her half- 
sister, had been naturally less affected by the advent 
of the Duchesse de Bourgogne ; but she had inherited 
to the full her mother's jealous and vindictive 
nature, and the extraordinary degree of favour 
enjoyed by that fortunate young lady was quite 
sufficient to inspire her with the bitterest enmity. 

The two princesses found a couple of efficient 
allies of their own sex in the Princesse d'Espinoy, 
and her younger sister. Mile, le Lillebonne, members 
of the ambitious and intriguing House of Lorraine,^ 
the latter of whom was believed to have contracted 
a secret marriage with the late Monsieur' s unworthy 
favourite, the Chevalier de Lorraine. The two 
ladies in question, who, according to Saint-Simon, 
" exuded the spirit of the League at every pore," 

1 Their mother, Anne de Lorraine, Princesse de Lillebonne, was 
a daughter of Charles iv. Duke of Lorraine, and Beatrix de Cante- 
croix, and sister to the Prince de Vaudemont, already mentioned. 


had attached themselves to the interests of the 
Princesse de Conti, and founded their hopes of 
advancement on their patroness's recovery of her 
lost supremacy. 

Although these four women exercised the con- 
trolling influence in the cabal, the male element, 
which was animated by hostility to the Due de 
Bourgogne rather than to his wife, was not un- 
important, and included Vendome, and his younger 
brother, the Grand Prior, — who was a sort of 
understudy of the duke in the matter of morals— 
the Due du Maine, his half-brother d' Antin, the Due 
de Luxembourg, son of the victor of Steenkerke 
and Neerwinden, and the Marechal d'Huxelles. 

The object of the cabal was twofold : to estrange 
Monseigneur from his eldest son and daughter- 
in-law, so as to insure that, when that prince should 
ascend the throne, they would be reduced to im- 
potence, and to destroy the influence of the Duchesse 
de Bourgogne with the King. 

The first part of this programme presented 
comparatively little difficulty, since all the con- 
spirators were welcome guests at Meudon, and the 
seed they sowed fell on ground which needed no 
tilling. The Dauphin, though he was as much 
attached as his lethargic nature would permit 
to the hvely young Due de Berry, had never cared 
for his eldest son, whose ascetic and studious life 
was a tacit reproach to his own sensual and aimless 
existence, and he was jealous of the high opinion 
which the King entertained of him and the favour 
enjoyed by his wife. The task of poisoning his 
mind against the Due and Duchesse de Bourgogne 
was soon accomplished, and, though the young 


prince endeavoured to disarm his growing hostility 
by treating Mile, de Choin with the greatest 
deference whenever he visited his father's country- 
seat, and by directing his wife to sit on a stool 
instead of an arm-chair in her presence, it was to 
no purpose ; the " Parvulos " of Meudon, as the 
Court called the Dauphin's house-parties, gradually 
became the centre of all that was hostile to husband 
or wife, and it was very evident that, if Monseigneur 
survived the King, they would find themselves 
entirely without influence in the new reign. 

But the second object of the conspirators was 
infinitely more difficult of attainment ; indeed, 
they recognised that the Duchesse de Bourgogne 
had secured far too firm a hold upon Louis xiv's 
affections to be dispossessed by any direct form of 
attack. Their only hope of success was to strike 
at the wife through the husband ; to wait for 
some opportunity of ruining the duke's credit 
with the King, and, in so doing, to undermine, 
if they could not destroy, that of the duchess 
also. This opportunity arrived with the campaign 
of 1708. 


Departure of the Due de Bourgogne for Flanders — His interview 
with Fenelon at Cambrai — Conduct of the Dues de Bourgogne and 
de Berry towards the ChevaUer de Saint-Georges — Composition of 
the Army of Flanders — Anomalous relations of the Due de Bour- 
gogne and Vendome — Position of the Allies — Advanee of the 
French — Differences between the Due de Bourgogne and VendSme 
retain the army inactive for a month — Occupations of the prince 
— Ghent and Bruges taken by the French, who advance to the 
Scheldt, with the intention of investing Oudenarde — Eugene joins 
Marlborough at Brussels — The AlUes, by a rapid march, interpose 
themselves between the enemy and his own frontier — Battle of 
Oudenarde — Question of the responsibiUty for the defeat of the 
French considered 

ON May 14, 1708, the Due de Bourgogne quitted 
Versailles and set out for Flanders. It was 
the anniversary of the death of Louis xiii, 
and the fact that the King, who was decidedly 
superstitious, had selected that day for the departure 
of his grandson seems to have excited not a little 
surprise. The Duke's parting with his wife was, 
according to the Mercure, a very tender one, and 
" the extent to which this princess was affected 
after the departure of her husband revealed to the 
whole Court the grief by which she was over- 
whelmed and the affection which she entertained 
for the prince." ^ 

To accompany the Due de Bourgogne and 
assist him with their advice, Louis xiv had nominated 

* Mercure de France, May 1708. 



the Marquis de Puysegur, the Comte de Gamaches, 
and the Marquis d'O, one of the Prince's menins. 
The first named, who had already served with dis- 
tinction in several campaigns in Flanders, was an 
excellent choice ; but as much could not be said 
for the others, and d'O, in particular, who appears 
to have considered that all other considerations 
ought to be subordinated to the personal safety of 
his master, was to prove himself a deplorable mentor. 

As had happened on the prince's journey to 
Flanders six years before, he again stopped at 
Cambrai, where another meeting took place between 
him and Fenelon. They had not met in the 
interval, but their feelings towards one another 
had undergone no change. " The young prince 
embraced his preceptor tenderly several times, 
and said aloud that he would never forget the 
great obligations under which he had placed him, 
and, though he said nothing which could not be 
heard by others, he spoke only to him, and the 
intensity of the gaze which he fixed on the arch- 
bishop, coupled with the first words he addressed 
to him, atoned for all that the King had forbidden, 
and thrilled all the spectators." ^ A few days 
later, the prince wrote to the archbishop, asking 
for his prayers on his behalf, and engaging him to 
assist him with his advice in the many difficulties 
with which he was bound to be confronted. Fenelon 
readily consented and sent his pupil much excellent 
counsel, not only on spiritual matters, but on 
those connected with his military duties. 

At Valenciennes, the Due de Bourgogne was 
met by Vendome, who had preceded him and 

I Saint-Simon, Mimoires. 


established his headquarters at Mons; and here 
he was also joined by the Due de Berry and James 
Stuart, the heir of James ii, lately returned from 
his abortive expedition to the Scotch coast, who 
served incognito, under the name of the Chevalier 
de Saint-Georges. The two French princes, Saint- 
Simon confesses, " took advantage of the modesty 
of this prince to treat him with the greatest in- 
difference and disdain." And, though the Comte 
de Gamaches, who was accustomed to speak his 
mind freely, expostulated with them warmly on 
their conduct, his remonstrances were unheeded. 

On May 26, the Army of Flanders was passed 
in review by the Due de Bourgogne, " who was 
very satisfied with it." He had certainly every 
reason for his satisfaction, since it was not only 
numerically imposing, but comprised the best 
regiments in the French service, commanded for 
the most part by experienced officers ; was excep- 
tionally strong in artillery ; possessed an admir- 
able commissariat, and was animated by the finest 
spirit. In short, nothing which makes for victory 
was wanting, with the exception of efficient general- 
ship, and, unhappily for France, the efforts of this 
splendid force were to be entirely paralysed by 
the dual control under which it had been placed. 
For Louis xiv's instructions had been so contra- 
dictory that neither the Due de Bourgogne nor 
Vendome really knew how far his authority ex- 
tended ; each considered himself entitled to the last 
word, yet neither was willing to take upon himself 
the responsibility for any important movement. 

Meanwhile, the allies had not been idle. The 
Anglo-Dutch army, of which Marlborough had 


taken the command on May g, lay at Ghent, and 
it had been arranged that Eugene, who commanded 
the Army of the Moselle, should elude Berwick,^ 
who had been sent to hold him in check, and unite 
his forces with those of the duke. Marlborough 
was eager for battle, for a striking success was 
imperative in order to revive the waning zeal of 
the Dutch and save the tottering Government at 
home. But his inferiority in numbers rendered 
it inadvisable for him to risk an engagement until 
the arrival of Eugene, and he therefore reluctantly 
decided to remain on the defensive. 

In the last days of May, the French army 
advanced from Mons, with the intention, apparently, 
of marching on Antwerp, where a rising in favour 
of Philip v was expected. Marlborough, however, 
had got wind of this affair, and, hurrying from 
Ghent, barred the way ; and the French thereupon 
tvuned to the east and halted at Braine-l'AUeud, 
near the field of Waterloo, in a position threatening 
at once both Louvain and Brussels. Four leagues 
only separated the two armies, and, if either had 
made a forward movement, they would probably 
have met on the same ground which a century 
later witnessed the final overthrow of Napoleon. 
A decisive action, indeed, seemed imminent; but 
Marlborough, whose plan was to remain on the 
defensive, fell back to Pare, in order to cover 
Louvain, and took up so strong a position that 
Vendome and the Due de Bourgogne decided to 
leave him unmolested.^ 

1 James Fitzjames, Duke of Berwick (1670-1733), son of James 11, 
by Marlborough's sister, Arabella Churchill. 

" "Marlborough's Despatches," vol. iv. ; Allison, "The Military 
Life of John, Duke of Marlborough.'' 


Hitherto the two French commanders had been 
in accord, but now differences arose. Vendome 
proposed that they should lay siege to the small 
town of Huy on the Meuse, which promised them 
an easy prey; but the Due de Bourgogne objected, 
apparently on the ground that the place was not 
of sufficient importance to justify the exclusive 
attentions of so powerful an army. As neither 
would give way, it was decided to ask for instruc- 
tions from Versailles ; and Louis xiv upheld his 
grandson. Vendome next suggested that an 
attempt should be made to surprise Brussels, where 
the citizens were known to be ready to welcome 
the French with open arms. This enterprise, 
however, was regarded by the prince as far too 
hazardous, and his view was shared by the King, 
who was again appealed to. The whole of June 
was wasted in these discussions, while the army 
remained at Braine-l'AUeud, from which neither 
of its leaders seemed to be in any hurry to depart ; 
Vendome, because he had found very comfortable 
quarters ; the Due de Bourgogne, because he appears 
to have been satisfied to occupy " a position which 
enabled them to bear to right or left, according as 
they pleased," and he expresses a hope that " the 
campaign which had commenced so weU, would 
continue the same." ^ For all that the French 
army had effected up to this time, it might just 
as well have remained in its winter quarters ! 

The blame for this deplorable inaction, however, 
undoubtedly lay with Vendome, since it was 
obviously the duty of a general of his experience 

' Letter of the Due de Bourgogne to Philip v, June 20, 1708, 
pubUshed by the Comte d'Haussonville. 


to have advocated a bold plan of campaign, and, 

if he had proposed to advance against Marlborough, 

and endeavour to force him to an engagement 

while the Allies were still inferior to the French, 

there is no reason to suppose that the Due de 

Bourgogne, who was eager to win his spurs, would 

have offered any opposition. Nevertheless, so far 

as the prince himself was concerned, the time 

passed at Braine-l'AUeud was far from being a 

period of idleness, and he exerted himself to some 

purpose to re-establish discipline among the soldiers, 

while paying the greatest attention to their health 

and comfort. He, at the same time, combated 

the luxurious habits of the officers, to whom he 

prohibited the use of carriages, and himself set 

them the example, by using only horses. 

The duke had brought his confessor, the worthy 
Pere Martineau with him, and his religious duties 
were performed with the same regularity as when 
at Versailles. The whole army, the Mercure assures 
us, was " edified by his piety " ; and it relates that 
on June 7, which was a Saint's-Day, his Royal 
Highness ordered a procession on the place of 
Braine-l'Alleud and followed it on foot, in conse- 
quence of which he did not mount his horse to 
visit the outposts until the afternoon. The Mercure 
adds, with unconscious irony : " The morning of 
the same day. Milord Marlborough, accompanied 
by several generals, went to reconnoitre the fords 
and ground along the Dyle."^ 

However, in the first week in July, the Army 
of Flanders at last did something to justify its 

' Mercure de France, June 1708 ; Comte d'Haussonville, la 
Duchesse de Bourgogne et V Alliance savoy arde sous Louis xiv. 


existence. Among those who had accompanied 
the Due de Bourgogne to Flanders, was the Comte 
de Bergeyck, who had occupied the post of 
Minister of Finance of the Spanish Netherlands, 
until the successes of the Allies had obliged him 
to seek refuge in France. Bergeyck had been 
busily intriguing for some time past with the 
partisans of Philip v in the principal Flemish 
towns, and he now proposed that advantage 
should be taken of the disaffection which existed 
in Ghent and Bruges to make a sudden descent 
upon these two places. His advice was acted 
upon, and the attentions of the Allied army having 
been momentarily diverted by a feint in another 
direction, two French divisions swooped down 
upon Ghent and Bruges, and, with the help of the 
citizens, took them both, almost without striking 
a blow (July 4). 

The capture of these two towns — and particu- 
larly of Ghent — was a success of real importance, 
and had it been followed up by that of Oudenarde, 
the French would have been masters of the whole 
course of the Scheldt, and Marlborough's water 
communications would have been entirely cut. 
But the Due de Bourgogne and Vendome could 
not agree as to the manner in which this was to be 
attempted, and the arbitration of Louis xiv had 
again to be sought ; and this entailed so much 
delay, that it was not until July 10 that the French 
army reached the banks of the Scheldt, where it 
took up its position at Gavre, some leagues below 

In the meantime, Marlborough had been joined 
by Eugene, who had arrived at Brussels on July 6. 


Eugene's army was still far away, and the prince 
had hurried on, attended only by his staff. How- 
ever, his presence alone was worth a considerable 
force, and the English general welcomed him 
warmly. " I am not without hope," said he, 
" of congratulating your Highness on a great 
victory ; for my troops will be animated by the 
presence of so distinguished a commander." 

The two great captains lost no time in deciding 
on their course of action. Instead of advancing 
directly against the enemy, they resolved to throw 
themselves between him and his own frontier, cut 
him off from his base of operations, and compel 
him to fight with his face towards Paris and his 
back to Antwerp. 

This plan was as brilliantly executed as it was 
admirably conceived, and, marching rapidly south- 
wards, the Allies crossed the Dender on the morning 
of July 10, and took up a strong position at Les- 
sines, between Oudenarde and the frontier.^ 

Intelligence of the alarming situation in which 
they were placed reached the French camp on 
the evening of the same day, but, according to 
Saint-Simon, Vendome " treated it with contempt, 
according to his custom," and, though the Due de 
Bourgogne urged that they should cross the 
Scheldt that night, and endeavour to outstrip 
the enemy and re-establish their communications 
with France, he declined to move until the following 

However that may be, it is probable that the 
passage of the river might have been postponed with 
safety until the next day, if all preparations for it 

' Allison, "Life of Marlborough." 


had been completed during the night. But, in- 
conceivable as it may appear, when morning came, 
the bridges were not ready, and their construction 
entailed so much delay, that when at length the 
vanguard under Biron reached the left bank, it 
found the whole of the Allied cavalry and twelve 
battalions, which, under the command of General 
Cadogan, had crossed the river at dawn, strongly 
posted on the summit of some rising ground, 
opposite the village of Eynes. 

The battle which followed has been described 
in detail by so many military historians that a very 
brief account will here suffice. 

Biron, on perceiving the enemy, immediately 
sent an aide-de-camp to inform Vendome ; but 
that general, who had not risen till ten o'clock ^ 
and was tranquilly eating his breakfast, at first 
refused to credit the news ; and it was not until 
two other aides-de-camp had arrived hard upon 
each other's heels, that, " declaring that devils 
must have brought the enemy," he sent orders to 
Biron to attack, promising to support him im- 

After an obstinate struggle, Cadogan was 
driven back, but his resistance had given the main 
body of the Allies time to cross the Scheldt and 
form in order of battle, while the bulk of the French 
were still passing the river. Vendome and the Due 
de Bourgogne, entirely disconcerted at finding 
themselves engaged in a battle which neither had 
foreseen, issued contradictorj^^ orders ; several 

1 Vend6me himself admitted this in a despatch to the King, 
giving as an excuse that he had been thirty hours in the saddle, and 
was ill. 

' Saint-Simon, Mimoires. 


regiments as they came hurrying up in column 
were charged and broken before they were able 
to deploy ; cavalry and infantry were mixed up 
together, and the utmost confusion prevailed. 

Nevertheless, the French fought with splendid 
courage, and, if Vendome, who dismounted from 
his horse and led the infantry of the left wing in 
person, had only displayed half as much ability 
as he did valour, the day might still have been 
theirs. But, as evening was falling, the old Dutch 
general, Marshal Overkirk, with the cavalry of 
the reserve and twenty Dutch and Danish 
battalions, succeeded in turning the French right, 
which the Due de Bourgogne commanded, and 
drove it in in hopeless confusion. This movement 
decided the battle, and night alone saved the con- 
quered army from annihilation. As matters were, 
95 standards and 7000 prisoners were taken,^ and 
the discomfited French fell back in disorder on 
Ghent, and did not halt till they reached Loven- 
deghem, between that town and Bruges. 

Before the retreat began, an improvised council 
of war was held by the French generals, at which, 
says Saint-Simon, M. de Vendome, " furious at 
being so terribly out of his reckoning, affronted 
everybody. When the Due de Bourgogne wished 
to speak, he silenced him, by saying to him, in an 
imperious tone, before every one, that ' he had come 
to the army only on condition of obeying him.' 
These insolent words, pronounced at the fatal 

1 This is the number given by Marlborough, but the French only 
admitted to have left 4000 prisoners in the enemy's hands. What- 
ever the actual number, it must have been much larger, but for the 
courage and skill with which the rearguard, under the Duchesse de 
Bourgogne's old admirer, Nangis, covered the retreat. 


moment when they were experiencing the conse- 
quences of the obedience rendered to his idleness 
and obstinacy, made every one tremble with 
indignation. The young prince to whom they 
were addressed achieved a more dif&cult victory 
than that which his enemies were gaining over 
him, and was suificiently master of himself to keep 
silent." Vendome, he goes on to relate, then 
proceeded to harangue the assembled generals, 
declaring that the battle was not lost, and that they 
could resume it on the morrow, but finding every 
one but his cousin, the young Comte d'Evreux,^ 
of a contrary opinion, flew into a violent passion, 
and exclaimed, " Oh, very well, Messieurs ! I see 
clearly what you wish. We must retire then." 
And, turning towards the Due de Bourgogne, he 
added, in a tone which left no doubt as to his 
meaning : "I know that you have long wished 
to do so, Monseigneur." ^ 

This anecdote has been accepted by many 
historians, both French and English, and Michelet 
has even endeavoured to improve upon it.* But 
its authenticity is extremely doubtful, for, though 
Saint-Hilaire, who was one of the officers present 
on the occasion, admits that Vendome fell into a 
passion on his advice being disregarded, he says 
nothing of any insulting words used by him to the 
Due de Bourgogne, and even attributes his obstinacy 
to his solicitude for the honour and glory of the 
prince ; * nor do the letters of the Due de Bour- 
gogne, though full of complaints regarding the 

1 Henri Louis de la Tour-d'Auvergne. He was the son of the 
Due de Bouillon and Marianne Mancini. 

" Saint-Simon, Memoires. ' Histoire de France. 

* Saint-HUaire, Memoires. 


conduct of Vendome, contain any allusion to such 
an incident. It would therefore appear that Saint- 
Simon has been once more drawing upon those 
imaginative powers which have led so many- 
historians astray. 

In the case of a joint-command, like that 
exercised by the Due de Boiirgogne and Vendome, 
it is always very difficult to apportion the blame 
for any disaster. Both Coxe and Allison in their 
accounts of the battle are very severe upon the 
Due de Bourgogne, and the latter writer accuses 
the prince, " who was jealous of Vendome's re- 
putation," of countermanding orders issued by his 
colleague.^ But the most trustworthy of French 
historians and contemporary writers, who include 
several officers who took part in the engagement, 
are not of this opinion, and though Saint-Simon 
has probably exaggerated the faults of Vendome 
and ignored those of his hero, his account appears 
to be substantially accurate. The primary cause 
of the disaster was undoubtedly the time lost 
on the morning of the nth in the passage of the 
Scheldt, due to the bridges not having been con- 
structed overnight ; and for this Vendome was 
certainly responsible. Nevertheless, as we shall 
now see, that general, aided by his friends, both 
in the army and at home, endeavoured to shift 
the odium of the defeat on to the shoulders of the 
Due de Bourgogne, and, at first, with only too much 

J " Life of Marlborough." 



Efforts of Vendome to cast the blame for the loss of the Battle 
of Oudenarde upon the Due de Bourgogne — The prince seeks the 
support of Madame de Maintenon — Vendome resolves to appeal 
to the pubUc — Letter of Alberoni : sensation which it arouses — 
Letters of the poet Campistron and the Comte d'Evreux — Violent 
outcry against the Due de Bourgogne, organised by the cabal of 
Meudon — Distress of the Duchesse de Bourgogne — Her courageous 
defence of her husband — The serious quahties of the princess 
begin to reveal themselves — She persuades the King to exercise 
his authority to restrain the attacks upon the Due de Bourgogne 

THE news of the capture of Ghent and Bruges 
had reached Fontainebleau, where the 
Court was then in residence, on the night 
of July 6, where it excited a " frenzied joy," ^ 
among all save the personal enemies of the Due 
de Bourgogne, who, however, had the good sense 
to dissemble their mortification. The consterna- 
tion was therefore all the greater when, shortly 
after mid-day on the 14th, as the King was leaving 
the Council of Finance, a courier arrived, bringing 
" the sad news of a great engagement in Flanders, 
in which we have not had the advantage." * The 
following day brought a despatch from Vendome, 
in which he complained bitterly of the conduct 
of the Due de Bourgogne, and had the effrontery 
to declare that the battle had been going in favour 
of the French, and that victory was actually in 

1 Saint-Simon. ' Dangeau. 


sight, when the prince, notwithstanding his pro- 
testations, had insisted on retreating. In a second 
despatch, he attributed the reverse to the incom- 
petent officers who abused the confidence of the 
Due de Bourgogne, and whose advice his Royal 
Highness preferred to his, on all important 
occasions ; and he implored the King to recall 
him [Vendome], in order to spare him the humilia- 
tion of finding his counsels disregarded and of 
being the witness of the failure of his Majesty's 

The Due de Bourgogne, on his side, also wrote 
to the King, but he confined himself to informing 
him that the army had been compelled to retreat 
to Lovendeghem, and referred him for details to 
Vendome. " But, at the same time, he wrote 
to the duchess, very clearly expressing to her 
where the fault lay " ; ^ and this epistle, it is fair 
to presume, soon found its way into his Majesty's 

According to the Chevalier de Bellerive,^ Louis 
XIV, after receiving Vendome's first despatches, 
had actually resolved to recall his grandson and 
leave the command of the army to Vendome, 
but was dissuaded by the Duchesse de Bourgogne, 
who, warned by Madame de Maintenon, threw 
herself at the King's feet and implored him to 
spare her husband such a dishonour. It seems 
doubtful if there is any truth in this story, for 
Bellerive was a particularly ardent supporter of 

' Saint-Simon. 

" He was believed by many to be a natural son of Vend6me. 
He accompanied him during the Spanish campaign of 17 10, of which 
he subsequently wrote a history. 


Vendome.^ However, that general certainly did 
everything possible to induce Louis xiv to relieve 
him of the duke, declaring that " the princes 
were a terrible burden for an army " ; that they 
had nearly as possible been taken prisoners at 
Oudenarde ; that no good purpose could be served 
by their remaining with the troops during the 
remainder of the campaign, and that he entreated 
his Majesty not to continue to charge him with 
the care of persons so precious. 

The King, however, contented himself by 
advising his grandson "to do nothing except 
after mature deliberation," and by telling Vendome 
that, in order to avoid further regrettable incidents, 
he had directed the prince to consult with him 
about their future course of action, and had re- 
commended him to repose in the general all the 
confidence which the zeal, experience, and so 
forth of the latter merited. 

This, so far from soothing the mortified 
Vendome, seems to have exasperated him to the 
last degree, and he replied by a long and scathing 
criticism of the Due de Bourgogne, or rather — 
since he was too good a courtier to make a direct 
attack upon the King's grandson — of Puysegur, 
the prince's favourite counsellor, who, he asserted, 
had persuaded his master to disregard his in- 
structions, and, in particular, to allow a considerable 
part of the army to remain inactive on a height and 
" look on at the battle as people look on at the opera 

1 Bellerive's Mimoires, which are preserved in the Bibliothfeque 
Nationale, have never been published, but his account of the cam- 
paign of 1708 in Flanders has been reproduced by M. BoisUsle, in 
his edition of Saint-Simon's MSmoires, vol. xvi. 


from the boxes on the third tier." ^ By the same 
courier, he wrote to the Minister for War, declaring 
that, if he had been the master in Flanders as he had 
been in Italy, all would have been well, and hinting 
that, in his opinion, the personal courage of the Due 
de Bourgogne was more than a little doubtful. 

The Due de Bourgogne, aware that Vendome 
was endeavouring to throw the blame upon him, 
felt compelled to defend himself, and having 
decided that it would be better to secure the 
advocacy of Madame de Maintenon than to appeal 
directly to the King, addressed to that lady a 
lengthy letter, in which, after expatiating upon 
the faults committed by Vendome, both before 
and during the battle, he declared that the latter 
had lost the confidence of both officers and men ; 
that he did " scarcely anything but eat and sleep " ; 
that his health did not permit him to perform his 
duties ; that he was always convinced that the 
enemy would never do anything which he did not 
wish him to do, and believed himself invincible ; 
and that, in a word, he was " not a general at all," 
and quite unworthy of the trust which his Majesty 
reposed in him. And he demanded that the 
King should, in future, invest him [the Due de 
Bourgogne] with full powers.* 

If Vendome had remained satisfied with venting 
his spleen in despatches to Louis xiv and Chamillart, 
little harm would have been done ; but, knowing 

1 Despatch of July 16, published in Pelet, Histoire militaire, 
where the full text is given. M. d'Haussonville, who has also pub- 
Ushed a portion of it, declares that the responsibihty for this extra- 
ordinary blunder was Vendome's alone. 

2 Letter of July 13, 1708, pubhshed by the Marquis de Vogue 
le Due de Bourgogne et le Due de Beauvilliers. 


that he could reckon on the support of a powerful 
faction at Court, he resolved to appestl to the 
public. During his campaigns in Italy, he had 
made the acquaintance of a lowborn, unscrupulous, 
but exceedingly able adventurer, the Abbe Alberoni. 
This personage, who, some ten years later, was 
to become cardinal and first Minister of Spain, 
and to set the country of his adoption and France 
once more by the ears, had gained Vendome's 
favour by his wit, his servile flattery, and his skill 
in concocting various Italian dishes, and had 
followed him to France and subsequently to 
Flanders. At his patron's instigation, Alberoni 
now wrote to one of his friends in France, lauding 
Vendome to the skies and declaring that the dis- 
aster at Oudenarde was entirely due to his plans 
having been thwarted by the Due de Bourgogne, 
or rather by his pernicious counsellors, for he did 
not venture to name the prince. 

" I am a Roman," the letter concludes (he 
was, as a matter of fact, a Placentian), " that is to 
say, I belong to a race that speaks the truth ; 
' in civitate omnium gnara, et nihil reticente,' says 
our Tacitus. Permit me, after that, to tell you, 
with all due respect, that your nation is quite 
capable of forgetting all the marvels which the 
good prince [Vendome] worked in my country, 
which will render his name immortal and always 
honoured ; injuriarum et beneficiorum ceque im- 
memores. But the good prince is perfectly tranquil, 
knowing that he has done nothing with which to 
reproach himself, and that, so long as he followed 
his own judgment, he was always successful." ^ 

1 Jean Galbert de Campistron (1656-1723). Saint-Simon 
describes him as " one of those dirty, starving poets who are ready 


This letter created an extraordinary sensation. 
Its recipient, as was of course intended, showed 
it to every one he knew ; copies were made of it, 
and, finally, it found its way into the Gazette 
d' Amsterdam, the principal organ of the Grand 
Alliance on the Continent. It was speedily fol- 
lowed by two others, the first, from the pen of 
Vendome's secretary, the poet Campistron, " con- 
taining a virulent attack on the Due de Bour- 
gogne's counsellors ; the second, written by 
Vendome's cousin, the Comte d'Evreux, which, 
though couched in more measured terms than 
those of Alberoni or Campistron, was perhaps even 
more damaging to the unfortunate young prince, 
owing to the high rank and military reputation 
of the writer. 

The chance which the enemies of the Due and 
Duchesse de Bourgogne had long sought had at 
length come, and they were quick to seize it. 
" The emissaries of the cabal," says Saint-Simon, 
" paraphrased the letters in the cafes, in public 
places, among the newsmongers, in gambling-dens, 
in private houses. Vaudevilles, pieces of verse, 
atrocious songs ^ about the heir to the Crown, which 
erected Vendome into a hero on the ruins of his 
reputation, circulated all over Paris and throughout 

to do anything for a living " ; but his tragedies were considered 
of sufficient merit to secure him admission to the Academy. 

1 These songs, several of which were believed to be the com- 
position of the malevolent Madame la Duchesse, were generally 
set to popular airs, and were thus assured of a vogue. One was 
at the expense of the Due de Bourgogne and his confessor ; another 
declared that the prince had refused to continue the battle, from 
fear of sending souls to hell ; while a third — the most cruel of aU — 
accused him of having taken refuge in a mill and remained there 
throughout the action. 


the kingdom with a Ucence and a rapidity which 
no one tried to check ; while at the Court and 
in fashionable circles the " Libertines " and the 
dandies applauded, and the supple politicians, 
who know the ground best, joined with them, and 
so influenced the crowd, that in six days it was 
thought disgraceful to speak with moderation of 
the son in his father's house ; in eight, it had 
become dangerous, since the leaders of the " pack, 
encouraged by the success of the cabal which they 
had so well organised, began to reveal themselves, 
and to show that whoever should dare to contra- 
dict them would sooner or later have to deal with 

The friends of the Due de Bourgogne — Beau- 
villiers, Chevreuse, and Saint-Simon — were aghast ; 
to stem the tide of public opinion seemed imposs- 
ible ; " all France was in the cabal." ^ The 
Duchesse de Bourgogne was " in a state of extreme 
affliction" ; ^ for she recognised that her own happi- 
ness and reputation were at stake as well as her 
husband's. Greatly as she was beloved by the 
King and Madame de Maintenon, and immense as 
was her popularity with the great majority of the 
Court, it would be, nevertheless, impossible for 
her to retain her exceptional position, if the Duke 
remained under the cloud which now rested upon 
him, and continued to be an object of derision and 
contempt to half the nation. 

But let it not be supposed that her distress 
was solely on her own account, for that would 

Michelet, Histoire de France. 
^ Letter of Madame de Maintenon to the Princesse de Ursins, 
July 23, 1708, in Geffroy. 




be to do her a grave injustice. Notwithstanding 
her thoughtlessness and frivolity, and her lack of 
sympathy with her husband's views, she was at 
bottom a loyal wife, and she was exasperated by 
the calumnies published about one whom she knew 
to be a brave and honourable man, utterly in- 
capable of the conduct ascribed to him. 

And the shameful injustice of this persecution 
not only roused her indignation, but drew her 
closer to its victim, since it often happens that 
those to whom, in the time of their prosperity, we 
are comparatively indifferent, become, when mis- 
fortune overtakes them, objects of our sympathy 
and affection. This welcome change in the 
princess's feelings towards her husband is indicated 
by Madame de Maintenon in one of her letters to 
the Princesse des Ursins. 

" She [the Duchesse de Bourgogne] shows in these 
sad circumstances the feelings of a good French- 
woman, which I always knew she possessed, although 
I confess that I did not believe that she loved the 
Due de Bourgogne as much as we now see. Her 
affection makes her very sensitive, and she feels 
keenly the unfortunate result of the first action 
in which he has taken part. She would wish him 
to expose himself like a grenadier, and yet to 
return without a scratch ; she feels the difficult 
position in which the misfortune which has occurred 
has placed him; she shares all the anxieties which 
the present position must occasion him ; she 
would like a battle to take place, so that he might 
win it, and yet she dreads it. In short, nothing 
escapes her, and she is worse than I am. The 
distress in which she is gives me, on the one hand, 
much pleasure, since it is a proof of her good 


qualities ; but, on the other, makes me very uneasy 
about her health, which appears much altered 
by it." 1 

And in another letter she writes : — 

" I assured him [the Due de Bourgogne] the 
other day that he would not understand the extent 
of her sensitiveness on his account, however great 
may be his intelligence and his love for her." 

No longer had the Due de Bourgogne to com- 
plain, as in the campaign of 1703, of the absence 
of his wife's letters, and though, unfortunately, 
none of their correspondence has been preserved, 
we know, from the prince's letters to Madame de 
Maintenon and Beauvilliers, that the regularity 
with which she wrote delighted as much as it 
astonished him. " Nothing makes me better under- 
stand," he writes to the former, " the affection 
which you have always said that she entertains 
for me " ; while to Beauvilliers he declares that 
" his belief that she really loves him is confirmed." 

But the princess did far more than send her 
husband assurances of her loyalty and affection. 
She constituted herself the guardian and defender 
of his honour at the Court, and became the avowed 
enemy of the cabal which was seeking his ruin. 
She seems, indeed, to have been inclined to 
champion his cause with rather more zeal than 
discretion, since we find the duke writing to Madame 
de Maintenon on August 7, from the camp at 
Lovendeghem^: — "''"''- r .n t -I'V^; j : 

" It has come to M. de Vendome's ears that the 

1 Letter of July 23, 1708, Geffroy, Madame de Maintenon d'apris 
sa correspondance autheniique. 


Duchesse de Bourgogne has inveighed against him 
in public, and he has appeared to me extremely 
pained. Speak to her about it, I beg you, Madame, 
in order that she may be on her guard that her 
affection for me may not lead her to vex and offend 
others ; for this affection, though it affords me 
great joy, would not please me in that case." ^ 

Madame de Maintenon's admonitions, however, 
would not appear to have had much effect, for, 
ten days later, he writes to her that " the affection 
of which she [the Duchesse de Bourgogne] has 
given him such signal proofs makes him appre- 
hensive that she has gone a little too far in certain 
things which she has said." 

His anxiety is, however, all on his wife's 
account, and not on his own, for he adds : — 

" I have known before to-day that there are per- 
sons at the Court who do not love her, and who see 
with annoyance the affection that the King shows 
for her. I believe I am not altogether ignorant 
of their names. It will be for you, Madame, when 
I see you, to enlighten me more particularly on 
this matter, that proper precautions may be taken 
to prevent the Duchesse de Bourgogne J from 
falling into certain very dangerous snares, which 
I have often perceived that you dreaded. As for 
mischief - making, it would be very unjust to 
accuse her of that ; she despises it utterly, and 
her mind is very far removed from what one caUs 
the feminine mind. She has assuredly a solid in- 
telligence, much good sense, an excellent and very 
noble heart. But you know her better than I, and 
this portrait is superfluous. Perhaps the pleasure 

* Marquis de Vogiie, le Due de Bourgogne et le Due de Beau- 


that I derive from speaking of her prevents me 
from perceiving that I do it too often and at too 
great a length." '^ 

The tribute which the Due de Bourgogne pays 
to his wife in this letter was not undeserved. 
During the last two years, the princess had altered 
very much from the frivolous, pleasure-loving girl 
we have hitherto known, and, though this change 
had perhaps been scarcely perceptible, save to 
those who knew her most intimately, it was none 
the less real. The cruel anxiety she had suffered 
on behalf of her family in Savoy during the crisis 
of 1706 ; the terrible end of the unfortunate Maule- 
vrier, for which, as we have said, she could scarcely 
fail to regard herself as in some degree responsible ; 
the death of her little son ; the suffering and 
misery which the war was entailing ; and, finally, the 
danger which menaced her husband's honour and 
her own position, had all combined to bring home 
to her the fact that there is another side to life than 
that which is represented by balls and f6tes and 
toilettes and jewels and the struggles of contend- 
ing vanity, and had strengthened and developed 
those serious qualities which had, until then, lain 
dormant within her. " Ma tante," said she to 
Madame de Maintenon, " I am under infinite 
obligations to you ; you have had the patience 
to wait for my reason." Reason had, indeed, 
asserted itself at last, and it was well for her husband's 
interests that its triumph was no longer delayed. 

The odds against the princess in her struggle 

1 Letter of August 17, 1708, published by the Contessa della 
Rocca, Correspondance inedite de la Duchesse de Bourgogne et de la 
Reine d'Espagne. 


with her husband's calumniators were heavy, for, 
though she had loyal friends, none of them were 
persons whose opinion carried much weight in military 
matters, and it was difficult to convince Louis xiv 
that a general in whom he reposed so much con- 
fidence, who had hitherto proved himself almost 
invincible, and whose cause was espoused by 
nearly the whole Court, could possibly be in the 
wrong. She had, however, one invaluable ally 
in the person of Madame de Maintenon ; and, 
emboldened by that lady's support, she did not 
hesitate to importune the King to use his authority 
to put a stop to the reports which were in circu- 
lation, and even ventured to complain of Chamillart, 
who had allowed himself to be carried away by 
the current, and had written a letter to the Due 
de Bourgogne, begging him to compose his differ- 
ences with Vendome. 

His Majesty was not best pleased to see the 
princess, whose first care had always been to charm 
away his ennui by her gaiety and high spirits, 
appear before him with tears in her eyes and com- 
plaints on her lips, and one day, according to 
Saint-Simon, rebuked her in public for her " ill- 
temper and bitterness." But her efforts were 
not wasted, for the King, who had hitherto known 
nothing of the letters which had created so much 
sensation, reprimanded Chamillart for not having 
brought them to his notice, and ordered him to 
write in very strong terms to Alberoni and the 
Comte d'Evreux, ordering them to keep silence for 
the future. Soon afterwards, the Comte d'Evreux, 
at the instigation of his mother, the Duchesse de 
Bouillon, who was fearful lest he should compromise 


himself and his family with the King, wrote another 
letter in direct contradiction to the first, which his 
parents went about declaring was an impudent 
forgery ; and, though this very transparent fiction 
does not appear to have deceived any one, it brought 
some consolation to the Duchesse de Bourgogne. 

But, if the princess had succeeded in stemming 
for a time the tide of calumny, she had not as yet 
succeeded in doing anything to repair the mischief 
it had already wrought. She felt, indeed, that for 
the rehabilitation of her husband she must wait 
until the winter brought the officers of the Army 
of Flanders back to Court, and the truth became 
known, and hope that, in the meanwhile, some 
striking success might redeem the disaster of 
Oudenarde, and dispose public opinion more 
favourably towards the prince. 


Position of the rival armies in Flanders after Oudenarde — 
Failure of Vend6me and the Due de Bourgogne to appreciate the 
danger of the situation — The AUies resolve to lay siege to Lille 
— The French make no effort to intercept the siege-train on its 
passage from Brussels to Lille — Extraordinary inertia of Vend6me 
— The army of the Due de Bourgogne effects its junction with 
that of Berwick — Character of Berwick — Antagonism between 
him and Vendome — The united French armies march to the succour 
of Lille, but find their advance opposed by Marlborough — Dis- 
sension between the French generals : appeal to Louis xiv — 
Painful suspense at Versailles — Agitation of the Duchesse de 
Bourgogne — The French fall back to Tournai — Renewed outcry 
against the Due de Bourgogne in France : apparent triumph of 
the cabal — Madame de Maintenon espouses the prince's cause — 
Affair of Wjniendale — Capitulation of LUle — The Due de Bourgogne 
sets out for Versailles — ^Marlborough recovers Ghent and Bruges 

IT will be remembered that, after the Battle 
of Oudenarde, the French had retreated 
to Lovendeghem, between Ghent and Bruges. 
A few days later, Eugene's army arrived at 
Brussels, but, as almost at the same time Berwick's 
corps, which had been watching it and marching 
parallel with it, reached Tournai, no real difference 
was made in the relative strength of the rival 
forces. The four armies of the Due de Bourgogne, 
Marlborough, Eugene, and Berwick occupied, so 
to speak, the four corners of a chessboard, and 
whichever general first succeeded in effecting a 
junction with his colleague would obviously possess 

a great advantage. 



Although France now lay open to invasion, 
and it was of the last importance to the French 
to prevent the Allied generals from uniting their 
forces, the Due de Bourgogne and Vendome entirely- 
failed to grasp the danger of the situation. Ven- 
dome, indeed, refused to believe that the Allies 
would venture to cross the frontier, leaving so 
formidable a hostile force in their rear ; and he 
accordingly proceeded to entrench himself in an 
exceedingly strong position behind the canal which 
runs from Ghent to Bruges, in the confident antici- 
pation that Marlborough's first movement would 
be an attempt to recover these two towns. 
Berwick was ordered to remain at Tournai, to 
watch Marlborough and repel any incursions which 
the Anglo-Dutch army might be disposed to make 
into the Cambresis or Artois. 

Marlborough's intentions, however, were very 
different from those with which he was credited. 
On the very morrow of Oudenarde, he boldly 
proposed to cross the frontier between Lille and 
Tournai and advance straight upon Paris. But 
this plan — which was precisely that which Welling- 
ton and Bliicher executed with such signal success 
a century later — was considered too hazardous 
by Eugene and the Dutch ; and it was therefore 
resolved to begin the invasion of France by the 
siege of Lille, the strongest and most important of 
the places in French Flanders and the bulwark 
of the capital. 

This was in itself a sufficiently formidable 
undertaking, since the fortifications of Lille were 
regarded as one of Vauban's masterpieces, and it 
was garrisoned by some 15,000 men. Moreover, 


the interruption of the water-communications 
of the Allies, through the capture of Ghent and 
Bruges, necessitated the transport of everything 
that was required for the siege by land-carriage 
from Holland ; and Brussels, the nearest depot for 
ordinary and military stores, was nearly thirty-five 
leagues distant. Such, however, was the fatuous 
optimism of Vendome that, in spite of repeated 
warnings from Berwick, he scouted the idea that it 
was the intention of the enemy to lay siege to Lille, 
and remained inactive in his camp at Lovendeghem ; 
and on August 12, Eugene, who had returned to 
Brussels after Oudenarde, appeared before Lille, 
with a siege-train which comprised eighty heavy 
cannon, twenty mortars, and three thousand am- 
munition-waggons. From Brussels to the Scheldt, 
where Marlborough with a detachment of his army 
was awaiting him — that is to say, for fully half the 
journey — this immense convoy, which required 
16,000 horses to transport it, and stretched, when 
in a line of march, over fifteen miles, was only 
protected by fifty-three battalioii^ and ninety 
squadrons,^ and had lain exposed to the attack 
of an infinitely superior force ; and yet not the 
least attempt had been made to molest it. 

The blame for this shameful inaction must 
rest mainly with Vendome, who, in a despatch 
to the King, written on the day after the convoy 
had left Brussels, had ridiculed the fears enter- 
tained at Versailles, declaring that the roads 
were " absolutely impracticable on account of 
rain," and that it was out of the question to trans- 
port siege-guns and heavy waggons along them. It 

1 These figures are taken from Allison, "Life of Marlborough." 


is true that the Due de Bourgogne shared to a great 
extent his colleague's optimism, although he did 
go so far as to send, on his own initiative, a detach- 
ment to watch the movements of the convoy, and, 
if necessary, to attack it, which, however, it was 
far too weak to attempt. But it would be mani- 
festly unfair to blame a young and comparatively 
inexperienced commander, who had just been so 
unsparingly denounced for having refused to defer 
to the counsels of a veteran officer, because he 
failed to take measures which the latter declared 
to be altogether unnecessary. 

It might be supposed that the news of the 
arrival of the siege-train at Lille would have spurred 
Vendome to some great effort to atone for his 
blunder, or, at least, have aroused him to some 
extent from his lethargy. Nevertheless, in spite 
of the most urgent despatches from the King, 
who impressed upon him that his sole object must 
now be to preserve Lille, and the representations 
of the Due de Bourgogne,^ it was not until August 
27 — ten days after the investment of the fortress 
had been completed and the trenches opened — 
that he would consent to begin his march to its 
succour. Three days later, the Army of Flanders 
effected its junction with that of Berwick, in 
the plain between Grammont and Lessines, the 
united strength of the two armies amounting to 
nearly 110,000 men, exclusive of a corps of 20,000 
which had been detached, under the Comte de la 
Mothe, to cover Ghent and Bruges. 

1 The despatches of the Due de Bourgogne to Louis xiv prove 
that he, at any rate, appreciated the necessity of immediate 


The appearance of Berwick upon the scene 
introduced a new and, as it proved, a most un- 
fortunate factor into the situation. This natural 
son of James 11 was a brave and high-principled 
man, and a most capable general, as he had shown 
by his brilliant victory at Almanza in the spring 
of the previous year. But he was cold, reserved, 
sarcastic,^ and excessively haughty, while his 
military talents were infinitely more suited to 
defensive operations than to the kind of under- 
taking in which he now found himself engaged. 
He bitterly resented being placed under the orders 
of Vendome, whom he disliked and despised; 
for, though the latter was only a lieutenant-general, 
while Berwick was a marshal, all the marshals 
were obliged to take orders from him, in virtue 
of his rank as a legitimated prince ; and this 
resentment, joined to his predilection for cautious 
methods of warfare, was to bring him into con- 
tinual conflict with Vendome, and to increase 
the timidity and irresolution of the Due de Bour- 
gogne, who since Oudenarde appears to have lost 
all confidence in his own judgment. 

The antagonism between the two generals 
manifested itself almost immediately they met, in 
a lively dispute as to the line of march the army 
was to follow. According to Berwick, the route 
suggested by Vendome was chosen, but, after the 
troops had proceeded some little distance, it was 
found to be impracticable, and the Due de Bour- 
gogne gave orders for them to retrace their steps, 

1 At the funeral oration of James 11, the preacher declared that 
this pious king had never committed a mortal sin. " And what of 
me ? I am then a venial sin I " Berwick was heard to mutter. 


to the indignation of Vendome, " who laid the 
blame upon me and made use of very strong ex- 
pressions, to which, out of respect for the Due 
de Bourgogne, I made no reply." ^ 

Meanwhile, Eugene was pressing the invest- 
ment of Lille with all the, vigour that the im- 
perfect resources at his disposal would permit, 
while Marlborough commanded the covering army. 
Although the force under his orders was greatly 
inferior to that of the recently-united French 
armies, he had no uneasiness as to the result of an 
engagement. " If God continues on our side," 
wrote he to Godolphin, " we have nothing to 
fear, our troops being good, though not so 
numerous as theirs. I dare say that, before half 
the troops have fought, success will declare, I trust 
in God, on our side." ^ 

No sooner did he receive intelligence that the 
. Due de Bourgogne and Vendome had effected 
their junction, than he appears to have divined 
the point at which they would endeavour to break 
through the lines of the besiegers ; and when, on 
September 4, the French reached Mons-en-Puelle, 
on the little river Marck, they found their redoubt- 
able antagonist awaiting them in an exceedingly 
strong position, with his right and left covered by 

Vendome, who, when actually in the presence 
of the enemy, was always eager for battle, strongly 
urged an immediate attack ; but Berwick was of 
the contrary opinion, and declared that Marl- 
borough was so strongly posted that to advance 

1 Berwick, Mimoires. 

' Despatch of August 30, 1708, in Allison. 


against him would be to risk, not merely a repulse, 
but a crushing defeat. Both appealed to the Due 
de Bourgogne, and, if he had decided in Vendome's 
favour, the attack would have begun forthwith. 
But the prince, who found himself very much in 
the position of a young medical practitioner called 
in to arbitrate between two eminent specialists on 
a matter of life and death, declined to take upon 
himself so grave a responsibility, and referred the 
matter to the King. 

A courier was accordingly, despatched to Ver- 
sailles, bearing long memoirs from both Berwick 
and Vendome, setting forth their respective views, 
and another from the Due de Bourgogne, in which 
he carefully avoided expressing any definite 
opinion, and requested the orders of his Majesty. 

For some days past, the Court had been in a 
state of painful suspense. A courier had arrived 
on August 27, with intelligence that the two French 
armies had effected their junction, and were 
marching to the succour of Lille ; but since then 
no news had been received. " It was generally 
believed," says Saint-Simon, " that some decisive 
battle had been fought. Every day increased 
the uneasiness. The princes and the chief 
nobles of the Court were with the army. Every 
one at Versailles feared for the safety of a 
relative or friend. Prayers were offered every- 
where. Gaming, conversation, ceased. Fear was 
depicted upon every countenance. If a horse 
passed a little quickly, everybody ran without 
knowing where. Chamillart's apartments were 
crowded with lackeys, since every one wished to 
be informed the moment that a courier arrived. 


The King wrote to the bishops to request that they 
should offer up pubUc prayers suitable to the 
danger of the time. It may be judged what was 
the general impression and alarm." 

The Duchesse de Bourgogne was in a state of 
terrible agitation, since she felt that both the 
honour and the life of her husband were at stake. 
" She passed whole nights in the chapel/' says 
Saint-Simon, " when people believed her in bed, 
and drove her women to despair. The ladies who 
had husbands with the army followed her example, 
and did not stir from the churches." And Madame 
de Maintenon writes to the Princesse des Ursins : — 

" She [the Duchesse de Bourgogne] can speak 
of nothing save that which occupies all her thoughts. 
She strives to amuse herself, but without success ; 
her heart palpitates at the arrival of every courier ; 
she fears for her husband's life ; she fears for his 
reputation ; she would like him to expose himself 
like a grenadier ; she cannot endure him to receive 
the least blame, and would be greatly distressed if 
he did the least thing that the King disapproved. 
In a word, Madame, she is at present one of the 
most unhappy persons in the world, and it is I who 
preach to her tranquillity and confidence." ^ 

On September 7, the general suspense was 
relieved, to some degree, by the arrival of the 
courier from Mons-en-Puelle. The despatches he 
brought caused Louis xiv no little irritation, and 
he immediately wrote both to the Due de Bour- 
gogne and to Vendome, bidding them take the 
offensive ; while, two days later, he despatched 
Chamillart to the army, not, as several historians 

1 Lettres de Madame de Maintenon et de la Princesse des Ursins. 


have asserted, to decide whether it was advisable 
to deUver battle, but to report upon the condition 
of the troops and endeavour to reconcile Vendome 
and Berwick. But, when the King's orders reached 
Mons-en-Puelle, the moment when it might have 
been possible to execute them with any prospect 
of success had passed ; for, taking advantage of 
the enemy's hesitation, the Allies had succeeded in 
rendering their already strong position so impreg- 
nable, that even Vendome did not venture to 
counsel an attack. Accordingly, after a consulta- 
tion between the three generals and Chamillart, a 
courier was despatched to explain the altered 
situation to the King, and it was decided to 
abandon all hope of relieving Lille by a direct 
attack upon the investing army, and to confine 
their operations to opposing the passage of the 
convoys coming from Brussels, Oudenarde, and 
Antwerp with supplies and ammunition for the 
besiegers. With this object, on the 15th, the 
French fell back behind the Scheldt, and encamped 
in the neighbourhood of Tournai. 

The question whether the French ought or 
ought not to have attacked Marlborough on first 
arriving at Mons-la-Puelle — later, as we have 
explained, the undertaking was entirely out of the 
question — ^is very difficult to decide. That Ber- 
wick's apprehensions were well founded is proved 
by a despatch of Marlborough, written on Septem- 
ber 3, in which he declares that " the ground is so 
much to our advantage, that, with the help of God, 
we shall certainly beat them [the French.]^ But, 
on the other hand, it should be remembered that 

^ Coxe, "Memoirs of Marlborough." 


there are occasions on which a commander is jus- 
tified in taking exceptional risks, and the orders 
subsequently sent by Louis xiv show that he 
considered this to be one of them. 

However that may be, the news of the retreat 
of the army without giving battle was followed 
by a renewed outcry against the Due de Bour- 
gogne in France. The hapless young prince was 
made responsible for everything. It was he, the 
cabal and its emissaries declared, who had per- 
mitted the convoy from Brussels to pass un- 
molested ; who had been unwilling to march 
against the enemy ; who had shrunk from the 
prospect of a battle which would have crushed 
the Allies and delivered Lille, and preferred a 
disgraceful retreat. Paris was once more flooded 
with pamphlets and rhymes, some ridiculing a 
devotion " which preferred to lose a town than 
see soldiers die unconfessed," others freely ques- 
tioning the personal courage of the duke ; Mon- 
seigneur " readily swallowed all that was said 
in his son's dispraise," ^ and spoke of him with 
ill-concealed disgust ; and even the King per- 
mitted some impatient words to escape him in 
private, which were embellished by the servants 
who overheard them, and reported far and wide. 
" As for our little prince," wrote Fenelon, " his 
reputation has been damaged incalculably ; not a 
soul has a word in his favour." 

But, if the voices of the Due de Bourgogne's 
friends were lost in the general chorus of censure, 
or rather if they deemed it prudent to remain 
silent until the storm had spent its violence, he 

1 Saint-Simon, MSmoires. 


did not lack for supporters ; and in his wife and 
Madame de Maintenon he possessed two who 
were worth a host in themselves. Saint-Simon 
attributes Madame de Maintenon's espousal of 
the prince's cause to the fact that she was 
" wounded to the quick at finding, for the first 
time in her life, that there were people who had 
more influence over the King than she had" ; but 
it would seem more just to ascribe it to her 
affection for the Duchesse de Bourgogne, and 
to that keen sense of justice which her letters 
prove her to have possessed, outside affairs of 
religion. "What," wrote she, "to the Princesse 
des Ursins, " was our prince, who has not yet 
had much experience, and finds himself in the 
most difficult position conceivable, to do, except 
trust a man who enjoys the confidence of the 
King [Berwick]. How could he decide or dis- 
cover by himself that the counsels which were 
being given him were too timid, and that he 
ought to abandon himself to the guidance of M. 
de Vendome, against whom three-quarters of the 
army are inveighing ? " 

It must be admitted, however, that the events 
which followed the retreat of the Army of Flanders 
from Mons-en-Puelle, and the part played therein 
by the Due de Bourgogne, were scarcely of a nature 
to afford much encouragement to those who desired 
to see his reputation vindicated. The French, 
as we have said, had established themselves in the 
neighbourhood of Tournai, in a position which they 
believed would enable them to cut off the be- 
siegers of Lille from all communication with their 
magazines in Flanders. In this they were sue- 


cessful, so far as those in the interior of the country 
were concerned ; and the only resource left to the 
allies was to draw their supplies from England, 
by way of Ostend, their communications with 
which still remained open. In the last days of 
September, intelligence was received that a convoy 
of seven hundred waggons was about to leave that 
town, escorted by some five thousand men, and La 
Mothe was ordered to march from his camp of 
observation near Ghent and intercept it. The 
Due de Bourgogne sent reinforcements to the 
assistance of La Mothe, who, however, without 
waiting for their arrival, attacked the convoy in 
the defile of Wynendale, and was repulsed with 
heavy loss. On September 30, the convoy reached 
the camp of the besiegers without losing a single 
waggon, and its arrival practically sealed the fate 
of Lille. 

After the affair of Wynendale, indeed, the Due 
de Bourgogne seems to have abandoned all hope 
of saving the town, and actually wrote to the King 
to ask his consent to certain measures which he 
proposed to take " in anticipation of this loss." 
Vendome, more optimistic, having obtained 
Louis xiv's permission to take command of La 
Mothe' s corps, opened the sluices of the canal of 
Nieuport and laid the country round Ostend under 
water, in order to intercept the enemy's com- 
munications with that port. But Marlborough 
defeated this device, by causing a fleet of flat- 
bottomed boats to be built, which carried the 
waggons containing the stores to Lef&nghen, 
beyond which the inundation did not extend.^ 

1 Allison, " Life of Marlborough." 


Finally, towards the end of October, at the 
moment when Vendome and the Due de Bour- 
gogne, spurred on by urgent despatches from the 
King, had at last decided on a forward movement, 
news arrived that Lille had capitulated, " to the 
great astonishment of all Europe, which believed 
the Due de Bourgogne in a condition to be- 
siege Eugene and Marlborough, rather than those 
generals in a condition to besiege Lille." ^ No 
reflection, however, rested on its gallant defenders, 
who had sustained a siege of sixty days, of 
which thirty were with open trenches, and repelled 
six assaults ; and, after the surrender of the 
town, Boufflers and the remnant of the garrison 
retired into the citadel, where they continued 
their defence, subsisting meanwhile entirely on 

Divided counsels continued to paralyse the 
Army of Flanders, and nothing was done during 
the rest of the autumn to repair the blunders 
which had cost France so dear. A feeble attempt 
was made, in conjunction with the Elector of 
Bavaria, to divert the attention of the allies by 
investing Brussels. But Marlborough, marching 
rapidly northwards, forced the passage of the 
Scheldt, which the French vainly endeavoured to 
dispute ; the Elector hastened to raise the siege 
of Brussels, leaving all his artillery and wounded 
behind ; and on December 8 the citadel of Lille, 
despairing of succour, capitulated. 

The same day, the Due de Bourgogne set out 
for Versailles, in obedience to orders he had re- 
ceived from the King ; while, shortly afterwards, 

1 Voltaire, SQcle de Louis xiv. 


the Army of Flanders was sent into winter quarters, 
under the impression that the campaign was con- 
cluded — an illusion which was rudely dispelled 
by Marlborough marching upon Ghent and Bruges, 
and recovering both these places. 


Question of the responsibility for the disasters in Flanders 
considered — The Due de Bourgogne far from being altogether 
blameless — His conduct and manner of life while with the army 
condemned by his friends — His return to Versailles and reception 
by Louis xiv — He is partially reconciled to Monseigneur — Arrival 
and reception of Vend6me — The King suspends judgment — 
Venddme retires to Anet — Outcry against the Due and Duchesse 
de Bourgogne in Paris — Vendome is afEronted by the Duchesse 
de Bourgogne at Marly — The princess persuades the King to 
exclude Vend6me from Marly, and to forbid Monseigneur to invite 
him to Meudon — Effects of the Duchesse de Bourgogne's victory — 
Final discomfiture of Vendome — He rehabiUtates his military 
reputation by his briUiant campaign of 1710 in Spain — His death 

THE loss of Ghent and Bruges was a fitting 
termination to . a campaign which must rank 
as one of the most inglorious in French 
military annals. Yet the responsibility for the 
glaring errors which had marked it from the very 
beginning cannot be laid upon the Due de Bour- 
gogne. Nor ought Vendome to be held wholly 
accountable, for, though nothing can excuse the 
extraordinary inertia he displayed at Braine- 
I'Alleud and Lovendeghem and on the eve of 
Oudenarde, it is difficult to believe that he would 
have acted thus, if he had not been aware that 
another shared his responsibility, while on more 
than one occasion, when his advice was undoubtedly 
sound, he was thwarted by the prince's counsellors. 

The chief culprit was Louis xiv, who, often as 



he had blundered in his choice of generals, never 
committed a more fatal error than when he 
associated his grandson with Vendome, with in- 
structions which were so contradictory that neither 
was prepared to accept the supreme responsibility. 
And this mistake he subsequently aggravated by 
attaching Berwick to the prince's staff. " M. de 
Vendome and M. de Berwick are two great men," 
wrote one of the officers of the Army of Flanders 
to Chamillart, " but they will never be seen sleeping 
with their heads in the same nightcap. When 
one said a thing was white, the other said it was 
black ; and this did not fail to cause frequently 
considerable perplexity to the Due de Bourgogne." 

But let it not be supposed that the Due de 
Bourgogne ought, therefore, to be exonerated from 
all blame. His conduct, indeed, lent but too much 
colour to the accusations which were levelled 
against him, and was severely judged, even by 
his most devoted friends, as the letters of Fenelon^ 
and the Memoir es of Saint-Simon prove. His dis- 
inclination to fight except with the certainty of 
victory ; his utter inability to come to a decision, 
which resulted in the loss of so much valuable 
time in appeals to Versailles ; his neglect to make 
himself acquainted with the movements of the 
enemy ; his preference for the advice of his favourites 
over that of far more distinguished officers — all this 
undoubtedly contributed to the disasters we have 
just recounted. 

Nor was the life which he led such as to win 

1 The letters of Fenelon to the Due de Bourgogne during the 
campaign of 1708 will be found in his CEuvres computes (vol. vii 
edit. 1851). 


the goodwill or respect of those under his command, 
particularly during the latter stages of the cam- 
paign, when he appears to have become quite dis- 
heartened, and disgusted with the position he 
occupied. He seldom mounted his horse, not 
wishing to show himself to the soldiers, who were 
naturally inclined to regard the inexperienced 
prince, rather than the hitherto victorious Vendome, 
as the author of their reverses, and even murmured 
uncomplimentary remarks about him as he rode 
by. He associated but little with the general 
officers, fearing that they might perceive the per- 
plexities by which he was continually harassed, 
and seems to have taken no trouble to make himself 
acquainted even with the names of those of inferior 
rank. The greater part of his days was passed 
in writing despatches to the King and the Minister 
for War, or long letters to his wife and his friends 
at Versailles, and in devotional exercises and con- 
versations with his confessor. 

On active service, even the most devout were 
accustomed to abate something of their austerity, 
but the Due de Bourgogne scrupled to relax one 
jot of the narrow religious code which he considered 
essential to his salvation. The outspoken Gamaches 
did not hesitate to express his opinion of his master's 
conduct. " Returning from Mass with the duke 
on a critical day/' says Saint-Simon, " when he 
would rather have seen him on horseback, he said 
aloud : ' You will certainly win the Kingdom of 
Heaven, but, as for the kingdom of this world, 
Eugene and Marlborough know how to seek it 
better than you.' " 

When in September the army was in camp at 


Saulsoy, the nuns of a neighbouring convent in- 
vited him to take up his quarters in their guest- 
house. The prince accepted the invitation, but, 
scarcely had he done so, when he was seized with 
the fear that, in residing under the same roof as 
the brides of Heaven, he was committing a sin, 
and wrote to ask Fenelon's advice, declaring that, 
if the archbishop considered it wrong for him to 
remain there, he would immediately change his 
quarters. Fenelon seems at first to have regarded 
such scruples as an unmistakable sign of grace. 
"0 que cet Hat plait d, Dieu!" he writes. But, on 
reflection, he came to the conclusion that his 
former pupil was going a trifle too far, and assures 
him that, in time of war, the occasional residence 
of officers in religious houses was a regrettable 
necessity. A little later, when rumours of the 
very unfavomrable impression which its com- 
mander's austerity was making on the army had 
reached him, he changes his tone altogether and 
reproaches the prince with an attention to the 
minutiae of devotion which was altogether un- 
suited to the circumstances in which he was 
placed : — 

" Your piety tries to govern an army like a 
nunnery, and wears itself out in little trifling 
details, while it neglects everything that is essential 
to your honour and to the glory of the arms of 

Saint-Simon himself admits that his hero also 
consumed a good deal of time, which might have 
been much more profitably employed, in amuse- 
ments, some of which were quite unworthy of the 


commander-in-chief of a great army, and that his 
devotion to them was very severely criticised. 
Thus, when an officer arrived from Lille, bearing 
the terms of the capitulation for his ratification, 
he found him pla5dng shuttlecock with the Due 
de Berry, nor would he append his signature to the 
treaty until he had finished the game. The same 
chronicler adds that, on another occasion, when 
intelligence which would have necessitated an 
immediate march was hourly expected, the prince 
went off to Tournai to play tennis, " which greatly 
scandalised the army and raised all manner of 
unpleasant talk." 

At seven o'clock in the evening of December 11, 
the Due de Bourgogne arrived at Versailles, and 
alighted in the Cour des Princes, where he was 
received by Beauvilliers. Saint-Simon, who had 
been watching from a window, met them as they 
were ascending the grand staircase, and the prince, 
wishing to show his gratitude for the chronicler's 
championship of his cause, embraced him warmly, 
" which showed that he knew better what was 
going on, than how to maintain his dignity." After 
exchanging a few words with his two faithful friends, 
the duke, who seemed quite at ease and spoke to 
every one he met, went to salute the King. 

Louis XIV, as was his invariable custom at this 
hour of the day, was working in Madame de Main- 
tenon's apartments, whither the Duchesse de 
Bourgogne had come to await her husband. Pont- 
chartrain was the Minister in attendance that 
evening, and he subsequently related to Saint- 
Simon all that passed. From the latter's account 


we learn that, when the King was informed of his 
grandson's arrival, he became embarrassed and 
" changed countenance several times " ; while the 
Duchesse de Bourgogne " appeared somewhat 
tremulous, and fluttered about the room to hide 
her agitation, pretending to be uncertain by which 
door the prince would arrive " ; and Madame de 
Maintenon seemed to be lost in thought. The 
duke entered and advanced towards the King, 
who at once recovered his composure, went two or 
three steps to meet him, embraced him, " with 
some demonstration of tenderness," asked him a 
few questions about his journey, and then, indi- 
cating the princess, said with a smile : "Have you 
nothing to say to her ? " 

" The prince," continues Saint-Simon, " turned 
a moment towards her, and answered respectfully, 
without moving from his place, as if he dared 
not turn away from the King. He then saluted 
Madame de Maintenon, who received him well. 
Talk of travel, beds, and roads lasted, all standing, 
some half-quarter of an hour, when the King 
observed that it would not be fair to deprive him 
any longer of the pleasure of being alone with the 
Duchesse de Bourgogne, adding that they would 
have time to see each other again." 

The first interview had thus passed off without 
anything to indicate that the Due de Bourgogne 
was in disgrace, which was an immense relief to 
the duchess and all his friends, though their satis- 
faction was somewhat discounted by the much 
more cordial reception which was accorded the 
Due de Berry, who arrived later in the evening, 
while the King was at supper. As for Mon- 


seigneur, the difference in his attitude towards the 
two young princes, as may be supposed, was even 
more marked : towards the elder, he was decidedly 
reserved ; towards the younger, as affectionate as it 
was in his nature to be. 

Three days later, the Due de Bourgogne had a 
long audience of the King, for the purpose of 
giving him an account of the recent campaign. 
At its conclusion, the prince sent a note to Beau- 
villiers, in which he informed him that, in accord- 
ance with the advice of his ex-gouverneur, he had 
"confessed his faults and spoken freely," and that 
he had "reason to beheve that the King was 
satisfied with him," since he had treated him 
with great kindness, and had given him to un- 
derstand that he should have the command of 
an army in the next campaign, if such were his 

A day or two after this audience, the Due de 
Bourgogne went to Meudon, where a long con- 
versation with Monseigneur and Mile, de Choin 
ended in a partial reconciliation between father 
and son. 

For this happy result the diplomacy of the 
Duchesse de Bourgogne was mainly responsible. For 
some time the princess had shown her morganatic 
mother-in-law so much consideration, that she 
had quite won that lady's heart, and had, moreover, 
persuaded Madame de Maintenon to follow her 
example. Grateful for these attentions. Mile, de 
Choin began to regret having permitted the cabal 
to bring about an estrangement between Mon- 
seigneur and his eldest son, and determined to 

1 Marquis de Vogiie, le Due de Bourgogne et le Due de Beauvilliers. 


employ her good of&ces to heal the breach ; and, 
as her influence over the feeble prince was very 
great, she was in a measure successful. 

The enemies of the Due de Bourgogne had 
been much disappointed by the comparatively 
favourable reception which Louis xiv had accorded 
his eldest grandson. They counted, however, on 
recovering their lost ground when Vendome arrived, 
since, if his reception by the King were a cordial one, 
which, after making due allowance for the near 
relationship of the Due de Bourgogne to his Majesty, 
could not certainly be said of that extended to 
the prince, the whole Court would be obliged to 
regard the King's attitude as a tacit condemnation 
of the Due de Bourgogne's conduct in the late 
campaign, and to trim their sails accordingly. 

On December 15, Vendome arrived at Versailles, 
just as Louis xiv was rising from the dinner-table. 
The King received him " very agreeably," but not 
quite so cordially as the cabal had hoped ; and, 
when his Majesty told him that he would postpone 
the audience which the duke requested until the 
following day, their faces clouded visibly. 

As the Dauphin had gone hunting, Vendome 
went next to pay his respects to the Due de Bour- 
gogne. The prince, though by this time fully 
informed of all the allegations which the general 
and his friends had brought against him, received 
him courteously, for it was contrary to his nature, 
or rather to the principles by which he guided his 
life, to harbour maUce, and, as his letters to his 
friends prove, he already regretted the irritation 
which had prompted him after Oudenarde to write 
in strong terms of Vendome's conduct. 


Presently Monseigneur returned from the chase, 
and Vendome hastened to wait upon him in the 
Princesse de Conti's apartments, which were the 
stronghold of the cabal at Versailles. The Dauphin 
greeted him very cordially indeed, but, when he 
begged the prince to honour him by a visit to his 
country-house at Anet, which would, of course, 
have been regarded as a public declaration in his 
favour, Monseigneur, who had evidently received 
a hint from the King, seemed very embarrassed, 
and asked to be excused from giving an immediate 
answer. This reply aroused general surprise, and 
Vendome, greatly mortified, soon took his de- 
parture. Saint-Simon met him in the gallery, 
on his way to visit the Due du Maine, and noted 
with satisfaction that he seemed in a far from 
amiable temper. 

Next day, Vendome had his promised audience 
of the King, but it was a comparatively brief one, 
and his Majesty subsequently showed plainly that 
it was his intention at present to favour neither 
party, being of opinion that both were equally to 
blame for the reverses in Flanders. This was, of 
course, very far from what Vendome had expected, 
and, after remaining a week at Versailles, where 
" his Abbe Alberoni presented himself at the King's 
Mass, in the character of a courtier, with unparalleled 
effrontery," ^ he took himself off to Anet. His 
departure seems to have been hastened by the 
circumstance that he had not been able to summon 
up sufficient courage to wait upon the Duchesse 
de Bourgogne, as etiquette required him to do, 
and that it was impossible for him to remain longer 

1 Saint-Simon. 


at Court, without paying his respects to the first 
Princess of the Blood. 

Before leaving, he invited a number of persons 
to visit him at Anet. Twelve months before, such 
invitations had been not only eagerly accepted, 
but actually contended for, even by the greatest 
nobles. Now, however, it was very different, 
since to accept would have been openly to espouse 
the cause of one party in a dispute in which 
the King had postponed judgment. " Some ex- 
cused themselves from going," says Saint-Simon ; 
" others promised to go, and did not. Every 
one made a difi&culty about a journey of fifteen 
leagues, which the year before had been con- 
sidered as easy and as necessary as that of 
Marly. Anet was deserted. The Due — or rather 
the Duchesse — de Bourgogne had scored the first 
point in the game. 

The young couple, however, stood sorely in 
need of some encouragement, for, if fear of the King 
imposed silence on their enemies at Versailles, in 
Paris they could say and write what they pleased ; 
and the scribes of the cabal continued to assail in the 
most violent manner " this devot, this shuttlecock- 
player, this poltroon, trembling at the mere sound 
of a cannon " — who had brought disaster and 
disgrace upon the arms of France. The theo- 
logical opponents of Fenelon, perceiving an oppor- 
tunity of striking at the master through the pupil, 
joined in the attack : — 

Cambray reconnais ton pupille, 
II voit de sang-froid perdre Lille 

Demeurant dans I'inaction. 
Toujours severe et toujours triste, 


N'est-ce-pas la devotion 
D'un veritable qui6tiste?i 

Some of the rhymesters did not spare the 
Duchesse de Bourgogne. They reminded her of 
her former weakness for Nangis, and contrasted 
the bravery which the supposed lover had shown 
in Flanders with the conduct of the husband ; 
accused her of rejoicing over the Duke of Savoy's 
successes against France ; and, as there was some 
talk at this time of Vendome being given the 
command of the Army of Dauphine, declared that 
she desired to ruin him, in order to prevent so 
skilful a general being employed against her father. 

Vendome remained at Anet until the beginning 
of February, when he decided that his continued 
absence from Court might be interpreted as a 
confession of defeat, and, learning that Louis xiv 
was about to pay one of his frequent visits to 
Marly, solicited and obtained permission to be of 
the party. An invitation to Marly was highly 
prized, and never bestowed upon any but the most 
favoured courtiers ; and his presence there, he 
considered, would put an end to any rumours to 
his detriment which might happen to be in cir- 
culation ; while, as the rigid etiquette observed at 
Versailles was relaxed on these occasions, he would 

1 Viscount Saint-Cyres, in Ms work on Fenelon, has published a 
translation of these verses, which is so excellent that we cannot 
refrain from reproducing it : — 

Acknowledge your pupil, my lord of Cambrai, 
When Lille is blockaded, he's far from the fray ; 

In action takes never a part. 
His face is so doleful, his mien is so sad. 
That — answer me— is not the sanctified lad 

A Quietist after your heart ? 


be under no necessity of exposing himself to the 
risk of a pubUc affront from the Duchesse de 

But in this he was mistaken. One evening, 
the Dauphin and the Duchesse de Bourgogne sat 
down to play brelan, when, finding that their party 
was a player short, Monseigneur sent for Vendome, 
whom he perceived at the other end of the salon, 
to come and take the vacant place. " Thereupon," 
writes Saint-Simon, " the Duchesse de Bourgogne 
said quietly, but very distinctly, to Monseigneur, 
that the presence of M. de Vendome at Marly was 
already sufficiently painful to her, without being 
obliged to play cards with him." Monseigneur, 
who had acted on the spur of the moment, realised 
his mistake, and, after a glance round the room, 
called for some one else ; and, when Vendome came 
up, he had the mortification of being sent away 
again, and seeing the place which had been offered 
him taken by another. " It may be imagined to 
what extent this superb gentleman was stung by 
this affront. He turned upon his heel, left the 
salon as quickly as he could, and soon afterwards 
retired to his own room, there to storm at his 
leisure." ^ 

But he was only at the beginning of his morti- 
fications, for, so soon as the card-party broke up, 
the Duchesse de Bourgogne hastened to Madame 
de Maintenon ; told her of what had just occurred ; 
declared that, after aU the calumnies which Vendome 
and his friends had circulated about her husband, 
the mere fact of his being invited to Marly, implying 
as it did that he still enjoyed the favour and con- 

' Saint-Simon, MSmoires. 




fidence of his sovereign, was intolerable to her ; 
and ended by entreating the old lady to use her 
influence with the King to exclude him in future. 

Madame de Maintenon consented, and depicted 
the princess's distress in such moving terms to 
the King, that, the very next morning, his Majesty 
sent his first valet de chamhre Blouin to inform 
Vendome that he must no longer expect to be 
invited to Marly, since his presence there was 
distasteful to the Duchesse de Bourgogne, and it 
would be unfair to put such a constraint upon her. 

Bitterly mortified, Vendome immediately retired 
to the house of one of his friends at Clichy ; but, 
learning that his abrupt departure had given rise 
to a report that he had been expelled from Marly, 
he returned there two days before the visit con- 
cluded, to save appearances, and remained to the 
end, " in a continual shame and embarrassment." 

This reverse was soon followed by another. 
Although excluded from Marly, Meudon was still 
open to him ; and, as he had a standing invitation 
to go as often as he pleased, he now took advantage 
of it whenever Monseigneur happened to be there, 
in order to show that, if the King had been weak 
enough to sacrifice him to the enmity of the 
Duchesse de Bourgogne, he was still as high in 
favour as ever with the heir to the throne. 

Now, since the partial reconciliation between 
the Dauphin and his eldest son, the Due and 
Duchesse de Bourgogne had become frequent 
visitors to Meudon ; and they were exceedingly 
annoyed to find Vendome invariably a member 
of the house-party, and still more by the manner 
in which he behaved. " To see him at Meudon, 


you would have certainly believed him the master 
of the salon. . . . He never failed audaciously 
to present himself before the Duchesse de Bour- 
gogne, as if to make her realise that in Mon- 
seigneur's house, at all events, he was a match 
for her." The Due de Bourgogne supported this 
— " his piety compelled him to do so " — ^but the 
duchess was mortally offended, and watched her 
opportunity to close the doors of Meudon against 
Vendome, as she had already closed those of 
Marly. She had not long to wait. 

About two months after the incident we have 
just related, Louis xiv, Madame de Maintenon, 
and the Duchesse de Bourgogne came to Meudon 
to dine with Monseigneur. Vendome, who was, 
as usual, staying there, had the effrontery to 
present himself at the door of the coach as the 
King and his companions alighted, in order to 
compel the princess to salute him. Deeply 
offended, the Duchesse de Bourgogne gave him 
only a mere pretence of a bow, turned away her 
head, and passed into the house. Instead of 
taking warning by this rebuff, the duke had the 
imprudence to approach the lady again after 
dinner, as she was playing cards, only to experi- 
ence the same kind of reception, which, however, 
was on this occasion so very marked, that he was 
obliged to retire from the room to hide his con- 
fusion. As for the princess, she had recourse 
to the same tactics which had served her so well 
at Marly, and, after complaining to the Dauphin 
of the conduct of his guest, she addressed herself 
to Madame de Maintenon, and, through her, 
to Louis XIV, " representing how hard it was 


for her to be treated by Monseigneur with less 
consideration than by the King, for, while the 
latter had banished M. de Vendome from Marly, 
the former continued to receive him at Meudon." 

Nor were her complaints unheeded, for, the 
following day, while Vendome, all unsuspicious 
of the storm which was impending, was playing 
cards at Meudon, the Due d'Antin arrived from 
Versailles, drew him into an adjoining room, on 
the pretext of discussing some private business, 
with which, he said, Vendome had entrusted him, 
and told him that he had been instructed by the 
King " to beg Monseigneur not to invite him to 
Meudon any more, as he himself had ceased to 
invite him to Marly, since his presence displeased 
the Duchesse de Bourgogne." 

The astonishment and wrath of Vendome may 
be imagined ; but from the order of the master 
there was no appeal ; and when, a few days later, 
the return of Monseigneur to Versailles broke 
up the house-party, Meudon, like Marly, saw 
him no more. Nor did he venture to present 
himself at Versailles, fearing that the implacable 
princess might cause him to be driven from there 
also — though it is unlikely that Louis xiv would 
have proceeded to this extremity, so long as the 
duke conducted himself with discretion — but 
retired to one of his country-houses, where he 
found himself completely abandoned. 

The fall of " this enormous Colossus " — as 
Saint-Simon terms him — immensely increased the 
prestige of the Duchesse de Bourgogne. The 
Court realised that she must no longer be regarded 
as a spoiled child to be flattered and amused. 


but as an able and courageous young woman, 
who would prove herself a powerful friend and a 
redoubtable enemy. " All who were attached to 
her," says Saint-Simon, " were charmed to see 
of what she was capable ; and all who were 
opposed to her or her husband trembled. This 
cabal, so formidable, so swollen with pride, so 
accredited, so closely united in order to over- 
throw them, and reign, after the King's death, 
under Monseigneur, in their place — those chiefs, 
male and female, so enterprising, so audacious, 
who, owing to their success, had hoped for such 
great things, and whose imperious words had 
reduced every one to subjection, fell now into 
mortal discouragement and fear. It was a 
pleasure to see them artfully and basely making 
overtures to those of the opposite party whom 
they believed to possess any influence, and whom 
their arrogance had caused them to hate and 
despise ; and particularly to see with what em- 
barrassment, what fear, what terror, they began 
to crawl before the young princess, and despicably 
to court the Due de Bourgogne, employing towards 
them all kind of obsequiousness." 

Saint-Simon has here somewhat exaggerated 
the gravity of the defeat which the cabal had 
sustained, for, though the weaker-kneed members, 
and all the time - serving courtiers whom its 
momentary success had drawn into its ranks, 
hastened to make their peace with the victor, its 
leaders, some of whom had compromised them- 
selves beyond all hope of pardon, continued to 
meet and conspire at Meudon, until the death of 
Monseigneur came to shatter their hopes. 


As for Vendome, he had not yet reached the 
end of his troubles. Regarding the disgrace into 
which he had fallen as due solely to the enmity 
of the Duchesse de Bourgogne, and, in the belief 
that the King was still inclined to accept his 
explanation of the reverses of the previous year, 
he flattered himself that he would be given the 
command of an army in the ensuing campaign, 
when another Luzzara or Calcinato might enable 
him to regain the brilliant position which his 
pride and arrogance had cost him. He was soon 

It will be remembered that, in his despatches 
after Oudenarde, Vendome had made a bitter 
attack on the Marquis de Puysegur, to whose 
influence with the Due de Bourgogne he had 
attributed the loss of that battle, and in the con- 
versation which he had with the King on his 
return from Flanders, he had repeated his com- 
plaints against that officer, whom he charged 
with having several times thwarted his plans. 
Unfortunately for the duke, in April 1709, 
Puysegur, whose military duties had retained 
him on the frontier during the winter, reappeared 
at Versailles, and had a private audience of the 
King, who held him in high esteem, and felt that 
it was only just to hear his version of the matter. 
Informed of the charges made against him by 
Vendome, Puysegur not only defended himself 
successfully, but carried the war into his accuser's 
camp, and gave the King a full and detailed account 
of all the faults committed by that personage 
from the very beginning of the campaign. It 
was no longer possible for the King to doubt that 


Vendome had grossly deceived him, for Puysegur 
was a man of the highest integrity, and his state- 
ments were corroborated by reports which reached 
him from other quarters. A few days later, 
Vendome was informed that he would cease to 
enjoy the emoluments of a lieutenant-general on 
the active list. 

Subsequent events were to prove that, in 
refusing to avail himself any longer of Vendome's 
services, Louis xiv committed a grave mistake, 
though it is one for which he can scarcely be 
blamed. The sword which his own King had 
rejected was eagerly demanded by the King of 
Spain in the following year ; and, by one of the 
most brilliant campaigns in the whole war, Ven- 
dome completely rehabiUtated his own military 
reputation and the fortunes of Philip v, at least 
so far as Spain itself was concerned. 

Burning to remove the stigma under which 
he rested, he exerted himself to the utmost; and 
seldom in military history shall we find a greater 
contrast than that between the extraordinary 
inertia which he had displayed in Flanders and the 
almost incredible activity which preceded the 
battles of Brihuega and Villa-Viciosa.^ The 

1 " At this crisis, Vendome was all himself. He set out from 
Talavera with his troops, and pursued the retreating army of the 
Allies with a speed perhaps never equalled in such a season, and 
in such a country. He marched night and day. He swam, at the 
head of his cavalry, the flooded stream of Henares, and in a few 
days overtook Stanhope, who was at Brihuega, with the left wing 
of the Allied Army. ' Nobody with me,' says the English general, 
' imagined that they had any foot within some days' march of us, 
and our misfortune is owing to the incredible diligence which their 
army made ' " — ^Macaulay, Essay on Lord Mahon's " War of the 
Succession in Spain." 


grateful Philip overwhelmed Vendome with 
honours, but the victorious general did not live 
long to enjoy them, as eighteen months later 
(June 15, 1712) he died at Vifiaroz, in Valencia, 
from an illness which, if we are to believe Saint- 
Simon, was caused by a surfeit of stale fish. The 
King of Spain ordered public mourning, and 
caused the remains to be brought to Madrid and 
buried in the vaults of the Escurial. 


The winter of 1708 -1709 — Misery of the people — Generosity 
of the Due de Bourgogne, who inspires his wife with a desire to 
follow his example — Refusal of Louis xiv to allow the Due de 
Bourgogne to serve as a simple ofi&cer in the Army of the Rhine — 
Birth of the Due d'Anjou (afterwards Louis xv) — The marriage 
of the Due de Berry — The King gives the Duchesse de Bourgogne 
the entire control of her Household 

THE news that Vendome's services would not 
be required for the campaign of 1709, which 
was soon followed by the announcement 
that the Due de Bourgogne had been given the 
command of the Army of the Rhine, with the 
Marechal d'Harcourt to advise him, indicated 
clearly Louis xiv's opinion as to where the re- 
sponsibility for the defeat of Oudenarde and the 
loss of Lille lay, and gave a great impetus to the 
reaction in the prince's favour at the Court which 
the Duchesse de Bourgogne' s discomfiture of his 
traducer had already started. Among the general 
public, with whom Vendome had long enjoyed 
immense popularity, this change of feeling was 
naturally more gradual, though it cannot be doubted 
that it would have been considerably accelerated, 
if the Due de Bourgogne had not so rigorously 
observed the Scriptural precept concerning the 
secrecy of almsgiving. 

The winter of 1708-1709 was one of the most 



terrible which France had ever experienced ; " the 
memory of man could find no parallel to it." ^ 
Until the end of the first week of January, the 
weather had been unusually warm for the time of 
year, and in the southern provinces the trees were 
in bud, and it seemed as though spring had already 
come. But then the thermometer began to fall 
rapidly, and the most intense cold prevailed. " In 
four days the Seine and all the other rivers were 
frozen over, and, what had never been seen before, 
the sea froze all along the coasts, so as to bear 
even heavily-laden carts upon it." ^ This Arctic 
weather lasted for three weeks, when it was suc- 
ceeded by a thaw, and it was hoped that the worst 
was over. The contrary was the fact, for in a 
few days the cold set in with greater severity than 
ever, accompanied by a heavy faU of snow and 
biting winds, which greatly increased the suffering. 

In Paris, the Opera and the other theatres 
closed their doors, and the law courts suspended 
their sittings, for neither presidents nor councillors 
could sit in them, on account of the cold. At 
Versailles, the great state-rooms and galleries were 
absolutely uninhabitable, and the shivering courtiers 
fled from these gilded ice-houses to their own apart- 
ments, where, however, the wood-fires, " which," 
says Madame, " scorched the face without warming 
the body," afforded them but little protection. 
According to Saint-Simon, " the violence of the 
two frosts was such, that the strongest elixirs and 
the most spirituous liquors broke their bottles in 
the cupboards of rooms with fires in them " ; and 
he relates how, supping one evening with the 

1 Saint-Simon. 



Due de Villeroy, in a small room which was only 
separated from the kitchen by a little ante-chamber, 
they saw pieces of ice fall into their glasses as the 
wine was poured out, though the bottles had been 
brought from the kitchen. Many persons at the 
Court fell ill of pneumonia and kindred diseases, 
and several cases ended fatally, among the victims 
being Louis xiv's old flame, the Princesse de Soubise/ 
and the Marechale de la Mothe, formerly gouver- 
nante to the Due de Bourgogne and his brothers. 

If such were the condition of the great, it is 
easy to conceive what must have been the sufferings 
of the poor. In Paris, Madame declares that " the 
people died from the cold like flies," and that 
" every morning one heard of persons who had 
been found frozen to death " ; while among the 
wretched ill-clad peasants in their tumbledown 
hovels, where the unglazed windows let in all the 
cold, the mortality was frightful. 

To frost succeeded famine, for the cold had 
been so intense that it had ruined everything. 
"There were no walnut-trees, no olive-trees, no 
vines left — none, at least, worth mentioning ; the 
other fruit-trees died in great numbers, the vege- 
tables perished, and all the grain in the earth. It 
is impossible to imagine the desolation of this 
general ruin." ^ The price of bread rose in pro- 
portion to the despair for the next harvest ; soon it 
was beyond the means of all but the comparatively 
well-to-do. The evil was aggravated by speculation 
and by a monstrous edict which prohibited the 

' On the Princesse de Soubise and her relations with Louis xiv, 
see the author's "Madame de Montespan." 
' Saint-Simon. 


sowing of spring corn. This was subsequently 
revoked, but too late to undo the harm it had 
wrought.^ The Government, indeed, seemed power- 
less to cope with the situation, and the ordinances 
it issued did more harm than good, while the King, 
by forbidding the Parlements to take steps against 
the monopolists, because of his jealousy of the 
smallest encroachment on the royal prerogative, 
did much to encourage the heartless speculators 
who were battening on the miseries of their country- 
men. " The dearth is frightful," wrote Madame. 
" One cannot go out without being followed by 
people who are black with hunger. Everywhere 
one sees people dropping, literally dead of starva- 
tion." Food-riots broke out in several towns ; 
in Paris, chansons, leaflets, and placards attacking 
Chamillart, Madame de Maintenon, and even the 
King circulated freely ; and a disturbance among 
the starving labourers employed on some relief- 
works near the Porte Saint-Martin, owing to their 
not receiving the bad bread which was their only 
wage, might have developed into a regular insurrec- 
tion, but for the courage and tact of gallant old 

The kind heart of the Due de Bourgogne was 
deeply touched by the misery of the people. If 
he, instead of his grandfather, had been at the head 
of the State, there can be little doubt, from the 
projects of reform which were found among his 
papers after his death, that prompt and effective 
measures would have been taken to alleviate the 
distress. But his views were far too much in 
advance of his time to have found favour with 

: t '■ Michelet, Histoire de France. 


Louis XIV and his Ministers, even if he had ventured 
to express them ; and the only way in which he 
could show his sympathy with the sufferers was by 
assisting them from his own purse. 

And this he did to an extent which no one but 
his most intimate friends, and the clergy through 
whom his alms were distributed, were ever allowed 
to suspect. " He was so convinced of the obliga- 
tion of almsgiving," writes the author of a little 
book entitled Memoire des principales actions de 
vertu qu'une personne de probiti a remarquees dans 
Monseigneur le Dauphin, who is believed to have 
been the Abbe Huchon, at that time cur6 of Ver- 
sailles, " that he has often told me that I should 
answer before God for the poor of Versailles who 
were perishing for want of assistance, if I did not 
warn him of their pressing needs. It was in this 
spirit that in the year 1709, in which, owing to the 
high price of food, they suffered more than in any 
other, he often gave them all the money he had, 
without keeping back anything." 

The accounts found in the Due de Bourgogne's 
desk after his death prove that the writer does not 
exaggerate the extent of the prince's generosity, 
since they revealed that, out of the 12,000 livres 
a month which the King allowed his grandson for 
his private expenses, he had been in the habit of 
reserving only 1000 for his own needs ; the rest 
he dispensed in charity. 

Nor did his self-denial end here, Proyart tells 
us that he would willingly have stripped his apart- 
ments of every article of value which they con- 
tained,'' and soldfthem for the 'benefit of the poor, 
if he had not reflected that they were really the 


property of the King. He possessed, however, a 
fine collection of gems, of which he was an ardent 
connoisseur, and this of course he could dispose of 
as he pleased. " By degrees, he parted with the 
most valuable, but he had retained some of them. 
Precisely in this year 1709, the cur6 of Versailles 
having come to inform him that the misery still 
continued, he took him into his cabinet and handed 
him his gems. ' Monsieur le Cure,' said he, ' since 
we have no money, and the poor are dying of hunger, 
die ut lapides isti panes fiant ' ; and the stones were 
changed into bread." ^ 

The same writer relates that the Duchesse de 
Bourgogne, who was inclined to be extravagant 
and was frequently in debt, did not at first alto- 
gether approve of the excessive generosity of her 
husband. One day, when her finances happened 
to be at an unusually low ebb, she ventured to 
suggest that she herself might not be an unworthy 
object of his charity. The prince, instead of 
refusing her, wrote out a list of the persons whom 
he proposed to assist, with the sums he desired 
each to receive. This he gave to his wife, telling 
her that she might strike out the names of any 
one whose need appeared to her less urgent than 
her own and keep the money herself. The 
princess sat down and took up a pen, with the 
intention of materially reducing the number of 
the duke's pensioners, many of whom she did 
not doubt had been imposing on his benevolence. 
But when she read the names — honest peasants 

""■ ' Vie du Dauphin, p&re de Louis xv. Saint-Simon relates that 
the prince sold, on another occasion, two little silver pails which 
he used to cool his wine, and sent the money to the poor. 


of the neighbourhood whom the failure of their 
crops had ruined, children whose parents had 
perished of cold and hunger, widows whose husbands 
had fallen at Blenheim, Ramillies, or Oudenarde — 
the pen fell from her hand, and she handed back 
the list, observing : " One must admit that all 
these people are more to be pitied than I am." 

This lesson was not lost upon the Duchesse de 
Bourgogne, who had a kind heart, and only re- 
quired a fuller acquaintance with the misery 
around her to experience an immediate desire to 
relieve it ; and, some time later, her husband 
learned, to his great joy, that, without saying 
anything to him about it, she had not only dis- 
pensed a considerable sum in charity, but had 
made arrangements for forty poor persons to be 
fed every day at her expense during Lent.^ 

Greatly to his disappointment, the Due de 
Bourgogne did not, after all, serve in the campaign 
of 1709. The revocation of his appointment to 
the command of the Army of the Rhine, how- 
ever, was due to financial and not to military 
reasons, the fact being that the exhausted Treasury 
was found to be quite unable to support the heavy 
expense of the entourage which Louis xiv con- 
sidered indispensable to the princely dignity ; 
and the King accordingly cancelled, not only his 
grandson's appointment, but those of Monseigneur 
to the Army of Flanders, and the Due d' Orleans to 
the command in Spain. 

According to Proyart, the Due de Bourgogne 
entreated the King to permit him to go to the 
army unaccompanied by any suite, declaring that 

' Proyart, Vie du Dauphin, ptre de Louis xv. 


he was perfectly willing to live as a simple officer 
and endure all the hardships of a soldier's life. 
Such an example could scarcely have failed to 
produce an excellent effect upon the troops, and 
would have gone far to remove the unfortunate 
impression which the prince had made in the 
previous campaign. But Louis xiv was of opinion 
that for his grandson to go to the wars without 
the usual train of equerries, grooms, and lackeys 
would be most derogatory to his rank, and refused 
to hear of it. 

In the summer of that year, the Duchesse de 
Bourgogne was again in an interesting condition, 
and at the end of September we find her writing 
to Madame Roy ale that she " hopes very much 
to give her another grandson." Her hopes were 
realised, and at a quarter-past eight on the morning 
of February 15, 1710, the future Louis xv made 
his entry into the world, and received the title of 
Due d'Anjou. "He is the prettiest child in the 
world," writes the proud mother, five weeks 
later to Madame Roy ale, " and I hope that he 
will become a beauty. Although it is of no con- 
sequence when they grow up, one always prefers 
to have a pretty child than an ugly one." ^ 

On the occasion of the birth of the second 
Due de Bretagne in January 1707, Louis xiv, it 
wiU be remembered, had forbidden all public 
rejoicings ; but though, in the interval, the condition 
of France had become even more deplorable, he 
issued no such orders now, and the event was 
celebrated by f6tes in Paris and a number of other 

' Letter of March 24, 1710, in Gagnifere, Marie A dilaide de Savoie : 
Leiires et Correspondances. 


towns. He was no doubt prompted by the same 
reason which had caused him to insist on some 
attempt being made to observe the Carnival of 
the previous year at the Court, notwithstanding 
the horrors of that terrible winter, namely, the 
desire to present a bold front to his enemies and 
to show to Europe that misfortune at home and 
abroad had been powerless to quell the courage 
of himself and his people. As for the nation, it 
appears to have regarded the birth of a prince 
of the direct line as a presage of returning peace 
and prosperity, though one would have imagined 
that the money expended by the municipalities 
on fireworks, illuminations, and such like methods 
of demonstrating their loyalty, might have been 
more profitably employed in relieving the distress 
in their midst. 

The birth of the Uttle Due d'Anjou was soon 
followed by another important event in the Royal 
Family, and one which served to strengthen still 
further the position of the Duchesse de Bourgogne 
at the Court. Although the Due de Berry, the 
youngest of Monseigneur's three sons, was now 
twenty-four, an age at which most princes had 
been married for several years, he was still un- 
provided with a wife. In time of peace, a foreign 
princess of suitable rank would long ago have been 
found for him ; but for the past eight years the 
chief Catholic States of Europe, with the exception 
of Spain and Bavaria, where there were no 
princesses of marriageable age, had been at war 
with France, which had, of course, rendered such 
an alliance out of the question. However, of 
late the Due de Berry had begun to take so much 


pleasure in feminine society, that Louis xiv feared 
that, if he did not marry him without delay, he 
might engage in some liaison from which it would 
be difficult to detach him, or possibly follow his 
own and Monseigneur's example and contract a 
morganatic union. In default of a foreign 
princess, he therefore decided that he must espouse 
a French one, that is to say, either Mile, de 
Bourbon, elder daughter of Madame la Duchesse,^ 
or the eldest daughter of the Due and Duchesse 
d' Orleans, who was called Mademoiselle, '^ since 
they were the only princesses of marriageable age. 
The question upon which of his grand-daughters 
the King's choice would fall naturally aroused 
the liveliest interest at the Court. In ordinary 
circumstances, the fact that Mademoiselle was 
the daughter of the head of the younger branch 
of the Royal Family, while her cousin was only 
the daughter of the first Prince of the Blood, 
would have been generally regarded as sufficient 
to entitle her to the preference. But the Due 
d' Orleans was in very bad odour with the King, 
owing to the intrigues for his own aggrandizement 
which he had carried on with the Allies, when 
commanding in Spain two years before, and his 
debauched life ; he was disliked by Madame de 
Maintenon, and simply detested by the Dauphin, 
" who always displayed his hatred in the most 
indecent manner." ^ Moreover, Mile, de Bourbon 
was two years older than Mademoiselle, and there- 
fore nearer the Due de Berry's age, and was by 

1 Louise ]Elisabeth de Bourbon, called Mile, de Bourbon, born 
November 22, 1693. 

' Marie Louise filisabeth d'Orleans, bom August 20, 1695. 
' Saint-Simon. 


far the more pleasing of thejtwo young ladies. 
Most people therefore inclined to the belief that the 
King's decision would be in her favour. 

Now, the prospect of a match between the 
Due de Berry and the daughter of Madame la 
Duchesse was not one which the Duchesse de 
Bourgogne could afford to regard with com- 
placency. In the first place, it would probably 
result in the Due de Berry, hitherto so much 
attached to his eldest brother and to herself, 
being drawn into the ranks of the opposing faction, 
and would certainly strengthen the influence of 
Madame la Duchesse over Monseigneur, who, 
resenting the King's prohibition to receive Ven- 
dome at Meudon, had again begun to treat both 
the princess and her husband with marked cold- 
ness. In the second place, she was well aware 
of the power of novelty over Louis xiv's mind — 
was not her own exceptional favour a signal ex- 
ample of it ? — and feared that if a young, pretty, 
and vivacious girl, hke Mile, de Bourbon, were 
admitted to the King's circle, she might find in 
her a dangerous rival. On the other hand, she 
and her husband had nothing to fear from the 
marriage of the Due de Berry with Mademoiselle. 
They had always been on very friendly terms with 
both the Due and Duchesse d' Orleans; while the 
girl herself, though not unattractive in person, pos- 
sessed none of the qualities which were likely to 
appeal to the King. 

If we are to believe Saint-Simon, it was he who 
aroused the Duchesse de Bourgogne to a sense of 
her " great duty to herself, which was perpetually 
in danger of being stifled by the fictitious and 


petty duties of daily life," and he certainly seems 
to have displayed almost superhuman energy in 
the struggle which ensued, not even disdaining to 
make use of his enemies the Jesuits, who, he con- 
fesses, " became a powerful instrument." It may 
be doubted, however, if " all the machines which 
he regularly wound up in reciprocal cadence 
every day " would have succeeded in breaking 
down the aversion of Louis xiv, Madame de Main- 
tenon, and Monseigneur to a marriage which would 
so much increase the importance of a man whom 
they all three regarded with aversion, had it not 
been for the persistence and address with which 
the Duchesse de Bourgogne seconded their efforts. 
Repulsed at first, she returned again and again to 
the charge, and at length her efforts were crowned 
with success ; Monseigneur, pressed by the King, 
gave a reluctant consent ; the Due de Berry, who 
would appear to have been allowed very little 
voice in the matter, intimated his willingness to 
obey his Majesty ; and, on July 5, 1710, he and 
Mademoiselle were married in the chapel of Ver- 
sailles, with as much splendour as circumstances 
would permit. 

Both the Duchesse de Bourgogne and her ally, 
Saint-Simon, soon had cause to regret their work, 
and the latter confesses that, if he had only known 
" the half-quarter— what do I say ?— the thous- 
andth part of what we have unhappily been the 
witnesses," he would have worked with even 
greater zeal to prevent the marriage than he did 
to bring it about. The young Duchesse de Berry, 
who, until her brilliant position was assured, had 
succeeded in conveying the impression that she 


was a damsel of a singularly modest and retiring 
disposition, soon began to give the Court a glimpse 
of those qualities which were to secure for her 
such unenviable celebrity ; though it was not until 
after the death of her husband and of Louis xiv, 
that she gave her vices a free rein. Her talent for 
dissimulation, however, seems to have enabled 
her to conceal the dark side of her character from 
the Due de Berry, who, uxorious, like both his 
brothers, thought her, says Madame, " the prettiest 
person in the world, and that Helen was not half 
so beautiful " ^ — an opinion which he shared with 
his father-in-law — and he was as wax in her hands. 
At the' end'of that year, the Duchesse de Bour- 
gogne received what was regarded as an extra- 
ordinary proof of the King's favour and confidence. 
Louis XIV announced that he was giving her the 
entire control of the affairs of her Household, with 
the disposal of all posts belonging to it which might 
become vacant, a privilege which neither the Queen 
nor the Bavarian Dauphine had enjoyed. Old 
courtiers could scarcely bring themselves to believe 
that his Majesty really intended this to be under- 
stood in a literal sense, and Dangeau tells us that one 
of them ventured to observe that he presumed the 
princess would render an account to him of all that 
she did. To which the King replied : " I have 
sufficient trust in her not to wish her to render me 

' Madame — who, it should be remembered, was the lady's grand- 
mother — adds : " In point of jEact, she is not pretty, at all, either 
in face or figure. She is thick-set, with long arms, and short hips ; 
she walks badly, and is ungraceful in all her movements ; has a 
discontented face ; is marked by smaU-pox ; has red eyes— Ught 
blue in the iris — and a ruddy complexion, and looks much older 
than she is. What is perfectly beautiful about her, is her throat, 
her hands, and her arms, which are very white and well formed." 


any account whatever, and I leave her absolute 
mistress of her Household. She would be capable 
of more difficult and important matters than that." 
This fresh mark of Louis xiv's affection doubt- 
less served to console the Duchess de Bourgogne, 
to some extent, for the disillusionment she was 
experiencing over her new sister-in-law, who, so 
far from showing any gratitude to the princess 
who had done so much to promote her marriage, 
had promptly gone over to the Meudon faction. 
However, in the early spring of 1711, a tragic event 
occurred, which broke up the cabal, and freed the 
Duchesse de Bourgogne from all apprehensions 
concerning her future position. 


I Illness and death of Monseigneur — Scene at Versailles on the 
night of his death — Grief of the Due de Bourgogne — Funeral of 
Monseigneur — The Due de Bourgogne becomes Dauphin — Division 
of Monseigneur's property — Mile, de Choin— The Duchesse de 
Bourgogne is accorded honours usually reserved for a Queen — 
The Due de Bourgogne, encouraged by the dispersal of the cabal 
and the confidence which the King shows in him, takes his natural 
place in society — His extraordinary popularity — His antipathy 
to the theatre — His projects of reform — Change in the conduct of 
the Duchesse de Bourgogne — Her devotion to France — " I shall 
be their Queen I " 

WITH the exception of a short, but rather 
alarming illness in Lent 1701, occasioned by 
the consumption of an abnormal quantity of 
fish, Monseigneur, who was now in his fiftieth year, 
had since childhood enjoyed the most robust health, 
and nothing seemed more certain than that he 
would outlive the King, who had aged considerably 
of late, and upon whom the fatigues and anxieties 
of State were beginning to weigh very heavily. 
However, it was ordained otherwise. 

On April 8 — the Wednesday in Easter Week — 
Monseigneur left Versailles for Meudon, where 
he intended to pass some days. He was accom- 
panied by the Duchesse de Bourgogne, who, 
however, returned in the evening. On the way, 
they met a priest, who was carrying the Host to 
a sick person, and, alighting from their coach, 
knelt down to adore. They then questioned the 


priest, and were told that the Sacrament was being 
taken to a man who was lying dangerously ill of 
small-pox, which was very prevalent just then. 
Now, Monseigneur had already had the disease 
but at so early an age, and in so mild a form, that 
he was not considered proof against a second attack, 
and he was terribly afraid of it. The answer he 
received made him very uneasy, and in the evening 
he observed to Boudin, his chief physician, that 
he should not be surprised if he were to have 
small-pox himself. 

On the following morning, he rose early, with 
the intention of going wolf-hunting, but, while 
dressing, was seized with a sudden feeling of 
faintness, and fell back into a chair. Boudin, 
who was at once summoned, made him go to bed 
again, and, of course, caused the King to be in- 
formed. But, though his patient's temperature 
was alarmingly high, he expressed the opinion that 
there was no cause for uneasiness ; and Louis xiv, 
concluding that the illness was but a slight one — 
perhaps another attack of indigestion — did not 
think it necessary to visit his son, and, in fact, 
spent the afternoon at Marly. The Due and 
Duchesse de Bourgogne, however, at once started 
for Meudon, and remained all day in the sick-room, 
" the princess joining to the strict duties of a 
daughter-in-law all that her kindness could suggest, 
and giving everything to Monseigneur with her 
own hands," In the evening, they returned to 

Next morning, Monseigneur was much worse, 
and the nature of his malady could no longer be 
doubted. Louis xiv, who had never had any fear 


of exposing himself to infection/ set out for Meudon 
immediately after Mass, accompanied by Madame 
de Maintenon and a small suite, having previously 
forbidden the Due and Duchesse de Bourgogne, 
and all persons who had not had small-pox, to 
follow him thither, with the exception of the 
Ministers, who received orders to come every 

At Meudon, the King installed himself in a 
suite of rooms immediately above Monseigneur, 
whom he visited several times a day, but never at 
the same time as Mile, de Choin, who shared the 
nursing of the sick man with the Princesse de 
Conti, Madame la Duchesse, Madame d'Espinoy 
and Mile, de Lillebonne, all of whom happened 
to be at Meudon at the time when Monseigneur 
had been taken ill, and had been permitted by the 
King to remain. 

At Versailles, meanwhile, the most intense 
excitement prevailed ; the apartments of the Due 
and Duchesse de Bourgogne could not contain the 
people who flocked thither, many of whom be- 
longed to the Meudon faction and had hitherto 
held aloof from the young couple, but, in view of 
the serious condition of Monseigneur, were now 
feverishly anxious to' conciliate the prince who, 
in a few hours' time, might be Dauphin of France. 
" When the prince and princess rose, when they 
retired to bed, when they dined and supped, all 
public conversation, all meals, all assemblies, were 
opportunities of paying court to them. The Due 

1 Madame de Caylus tells us that when Madame la Duchesse was 
ill with small-pox, at Fontamebleau, in the^autumn of 1684,^ the 
King insisted on visiting her, although her father-in-law, the Great 
Cond6, strove by[main force to prevent him entering the sick-room. 


and Duchesse de Berry were treated almost as no- 
body. It was like the first gleamings of the dawn." ^ 

On the 13th, Monseigneur seemed better, and 
insisted on receiving a deputation which the fish- 
wives of Paris, with whom he was immensely 
popular, had despatched to Meudon to inquire 
how he was progressing. " They threw themselves 
at the foot of the bed, which they kissed several 
times, and, in their joy, declared that they would 
return to Paris and have a Te Deum sung." But 
Monseigneur, who appears to have taken a serious 
view of his condition from the first, told them that 
it was not yet time. 

In point of fact, on the morrow, his illness 
suddenly took a turn for the worse ; in the afternoon 
he became unconscious, and about seven o'clock it 
was seen that he was slowly sinking. But Fagon, 
whom Louis xiv had brought with him to Meudon, 
and who, according to Saint-Simon, had obstin- 
ately opposed Boudin's suggestion that they should 
call in another opinion from Paris, assured the 
King that Monseigneur was in no immediate danger, 
and allowed him to go to supper in complete ignor- 
ance of the actual state of affairs. Just as he was 
rising from the table, however, the physician 
appeared and told him that the prince was dying. 

The King immediately hurried to the sick-room, 
declaring that he must see his son again ; but was 
dissuaded from entering by the Princesse de Conti, 
who met him in the ante-chamber, and assured him 
that the dying man could recognise no one. He 
accordingly sat down on a sofa in an adjoining room, 
where he was presently joined by Madame de Main- 

' Saint-Simon, MSmoires. 


tenon, who took a seat beside him and " tried to 
weep." ^ She urged him to return to Versailles, as he 
could do no good by remaining, but he refused to 
move and stayed where he was, " without shedding 
a tear, but shivering and trembling from head to 
foot," * until the end came, soon after eleven o'clock. 
Then, supported by Madame de Maintenon and 
his daughters, he descended to the courtyard and 
entered his carriage, but not before he had called 
Pontchartrain and told him to inform the other 
Ministers that the Council would meet the follow- 
ing day at Marly, for, even at such a moment as 
this, he refused to neglect the duties of monarchy. 
As he drove away, a crowd of Monseigneur's officers 
lined both sides of the courtyard, on their knees, 
beseeching him to have compassion upon them, as 
they had lost all and must die of hunger." 

There are few more graphic pages in the 
Mimoires of Saint-Simon than those in which he 
has described the scene at Versailles that April 
night, when the news arrived that the Dauphin 
was in extremis : the sudden throwing open of 
doors ; the hurried rising and dressing of those 
who had retired to bed ; the rush of ladies in their 
dressing-gowns to the apartments of the Duchesse 
de Bourgogne ; the departure of the princess to 
meet the King, at the Orangery, on his way from 
Meudon to Marly ; her return with the news that 
all was over ; the " sobs, cries, nay, even yells " 
of the Due de Berry, to whose nose his wife kept 
holding a bottle of smelling-salts ; the " furious," 

* Saint-Simon, Mimoifes. 

' Letter of Madame de Maintenon to the Princess© des Ursins, 
April 16, 171 1, in Gefiroy. 


but far from disinterested, grief of that lady ; the 
Due de Bourgogne seated on a sofa, " weeping 
the tears of nature, religion, and patience " ; the 
duchess sitting by his side and endeavouring to 
console him, " which was a less difficult task than 
that of appearing herself in need of consolation " ; 
the apparition of Madame in full Court costume — 
she tells us herself that she never possessed a 
robe de chambre — among the ladies en deshabille, 
" flooding them all with her tears and making the 
chateau resound with her cries " ; ^ the varied 
emotions — hope, despair, rage, satisfaction — which 
showed themselves on the faces of the courtiers ; 
and the groans and tears of Monseigneur's servants, 
" in despair at the loss of a master who seemed to 
have been expressly created for them." 

At length, the worthy Beauvilliers, whose coun- 
tenance was absolutely impassive, though his joy 
must have been as great as that which his friend 
does not hesitate to confess, suggested that it was 
time that the bereaved princes were left to them- 
selves ; and the Court retired to rest, or rather to 
speculate on the changes that must shortly take 
place, since Saint-Simon teUs us that no one closed 
an eye all night. 

Although the late Dauphin had never at any 
time had much affection for his eldest son, and of 
late years, thanks to the machinations of the cabal, 
had come to regard him with a dislike which he was 
not always at pains to conceal, the Due de Bourgogne, 

* And, only the previous day, according to the chronicler, she 
had had a long conversation with him, in which she did not attempt 
to conceal her disappointment at the news that Monseigneur's 
illness had taken a favourable turn, and that he seemed likely to get 
over it. 


as the testimony of his contemporaries and his own 
letters prove, was much affected by his father's 
death/ and was unwell for some days afterwards. 

The duchess, on the other hand, could scarcely be 
expected to feel any sorrow for the death of the man 
who had permitted himself to be made the pawn 
of the faction which had so nearly contrived to 
ruin her husband, and the prospect of whose 
succession to the throne she had regarded with the 
gravest apprehension. According to Saint-Simon, 
she " found extreme difficulty in keeping up appear- 
ances," and she must have been greatly relieved 
when she was no longer required to simulate grief. 

Owing to the infectious state of the body of 
the deceased prince, the honours which would 
otherwise have been rendered to him were dis- 
pensed with, and, on the evening of the 15th, 
the coffin was placed in one of his own carriages, 
and followed by another containing the Due de la 
Tremoille, one of the Gentlemen of the Chamber, 
the Bishop of Metz, Monseigneur's chief almoner, 
the Marquis de Dreux, Grand Master of the Cere- 
monies, and one of the almoners of the King, and 
escorted by twelve guards, a few footmen, and 
twenty-four of the King's pages bearing torches, con- 
veyed to Saint-Denis, and lowered into the royal 
vault, without any ceremony. " Voild ou se termine 
toute grandeur !" observes Madame de Maintenon.^ 

Few more singular illustrations of the vital 

1 Madame de Maintenon, writing on April i6 to the Princesse 
des Ursins, describes him as " benumbed, pale as death, speaking 
not a word, and raising his eyes to Heaven." 

'Letter to the Princesse des Ursins, April i6, 171 1. The 
solemn obsequies, however, were celebrated at Saint-Denis on 


importance attached to questions of etiquette 
at the Court of Louis xiv are to be found than 
the fact that, on the very morrow of his only son's 
death, the King considered it necessary to summon 
his Ministers to a conference, in order to decide 
upon the future title of the Due de Bourgogne. 
The main question at issue was whether he was 
to bear the title of Dauphin, which belonged, 
strictly speaking, to the eldest son of the sovereign, 
and not necessarily to the heir-apparent to the 
throne, or that of Monseigneur, which was that 
which his father had always borne, although no 
one seemed quite to know how the practice of 
calling him thus had originated. All present 
were of opinion that the Due de Bourgogne should 
take the title of Dauphin, in preference to the 
other, which Louis xiv now declared ought never 
to have been used. It was also decided, though 
not until after a good deal of discussion, that the 
new Dauphin was to be referred to as " Mon- 
sieur le Dauphin," addressed in letters as 
" Monseigneur le Dauphin," and in conversation 
as " Monsieur." The Duchesse de Bourgogne 
would, of course, be referred to as " Madame la 

Louis XIV offered his grandson the magnificent 
pension of 50,000 livres a month which Mon- 
seigneur had enjoyed as heir-apparent. But the 
prince declined it, observing that he was quite 
content with the 12,000 livres which he already 
possessed, and asked that the vacant pension 

June 18, and at Notre-Dame on July 3, on both of which occasions 
the Due de Bourgogne wore a mourning mantle, the train of which 
was twelve ells long. 


might be applied to the needs of the State — an 
act of disinterestedness which greatly pleased 
the public. The King attached to the hew 
Dauphin's person the menins of Monseigneur and 
the same number of guards which that prince 
had had ; and, from motives of kindness rather 
than from any other reason, the duke took into 
his service a number of his father's old servants. 
His Household and entourage were thus consider- 
ably increased, but, in other respects, he continued 
to live very much as he had done during Mon- 
seigneur's lifetime. 

With the exception of his two estates of 
Meudon and Chaville, both of which he had in- 
herited from la Grande Mademoiselle, and a valu- 
able collection of gems and curios, Monseigneur 
had left little behind him. The landed property 
fell to the share of the Due de Bourgogne, while 
the gems and curios were divided between the 
King of Spain and the Due de Berry ; but part of 
the collection had to be sold to defray the deceased 
prince's debts, which were considerable. 

Monseigneur does not appear to have made any 
provision for Mile, de Choin, but this was no 
doubt in accordance with that lady's own wishes, 
since, some three years before, when he had pro- 
posed to bequeath her a considerable part of 
his property, and had actually executed a will 
to that effect, she had persuaded him to destroy it. 
After her husband's death, she withdrew to Paris, 
where she lived in retirement for the rest of her days. 
The King granted her a pension of 12,000 livres, 
which the Duchesse de Bourgogne endeavoured, 
but unsuccessfully, to persuade him to increase. 


The new rank of the Duchesse de Bourgogne 
was marked by several important changes in the 
etiquette of her everyday Ufe. During the Ufe- 
time of Monseigneur, the Dues de Bourgogne 
and de Berry had been on a footing of equahty, 
and, when the latter married, the same honours 
had been accorded to his wife as to the Duchesse 
de Bourgogne. Now, however, that the elder 
brother had become heir apparent to the Crown, 
Louis XIV decided that the difference in their 
respective positions and that of their wives must be 
clearly defined, and directed that at the Dauphin's 
lever the Due de Berry shoiild hand him his shirt, 
and that at the Dauphine's toilette the Duchesse 
de Berry should hand her her chemise. The 
Due de Berry raised no difficulty about this, 
but his wife was furious at the idea of being thus 
publicly placed in a position of inferiority to her 
sister-in-law, and vowed that nothing should 
induce her to undertake what she stigmatised 
as a menial service, and that, if her husband 
consented to so debase himself, she should hold 
him henceforth in the most supreme contempt. 
The poor prince, after vainly endeavouring to 
bring her to a more reasonable frame of mind, 
had recourse to the good offices of the Due 
d' Orleans, who eventually succeeded in per- 
suading his daughter to submit to the orders of 
the King, though it was not until several days 
later that the young lady condescended to present 
herself at the Dauphine's toilette and perform the 
duty required of her. The Duchesse de Bourgogne, 
who desired to live at peace with her sister-in-law, 
prudently refrained from any remark upon the 


latter's absence on previous occasions, and " acknow- 
ledged her services with all the grace imaginable 
and all the most natural marks of affection." ^ 

Not content with directing that the new 
Dauphine should be accorded all the honours 
which belonged to that rank, Louis xiv decided 
that she should also enjoy several of those which 
had hitherto been reserved for the Queens of 
France, and that when she dined au grand couvert, 
she should be served in precisely the same manner 
as Maria Theresa. In fact, during the few months 
of life that remained to her, the Duchesse de 
Bourgogne seems to have been queen in every- 
thing but the name. 

And the change in the outward position of 
the young couple was accompanied by an inner, 
personal change, which, in the case of the Due de 
Bourgogne, was as astonishing as it was gratifying. 
The death of Monseigneur and the consequent 
dispersal of the cabal of Meudon, removed the 
most blighting influence on the young prince's 
life, and one which had been responsible, indirectly, 
as well as directly, for much of his unpopularity. 
So long as his father lived and the cabal flourished, 
it was impossible for him to be otherwise than 
timid and constrained in public, aware as he was 
that he was surrounded by enemies ever on the 
watch to catch him tripping, to turn his smallest 
indiscretion to account. This, joined to his 
studious and devotional habits, had combined to 
inspire him with a positive distaste for social 
intercourse, and prevented him from taking his 
natural part in the life of the Court. 

1 Saint-Simon, Mimoires. 


But now he need fear no more. There was 
no longer a prince in the prime of life and robust 
health between him and the throne ; his foot 
was already on its highest step, and, in the natural 
course of events, a few years — perhaps a very 
few — would see him ascend it. His enemies had 
melted away ; in their places he beheld only 
obsequious friends ; what had been sneered at 
as the intolerance of a bigot, was now belauded 
as the virtue of a saint ; what had been ascribed 
to poltroonery, was now attributed to prudence 
and foresight ; the Court hastened to bow down 
before its coming master. 

And it was not only in the attitude of the Court 
that he saw a change. The King, who, since the 
unfortunate campaign in Flanders had been some- 
what cold in his manner towards his eldest grandson, 
at once began to treat him with marked gracious- 
ness. Grieved though he had been by the death 
of Monseigneur, he knew that his own loss had 
been an immeasurable gain to France, who would 
now have as her future ruler not a phlegmatic, 
indolent prince, with no taste and no capacity for 
government, but an industrious and conscientious 
young man, who had already shown a grasp of 
affairs far beyond his years. Louis xiv had com- 
mitted colossal errors, for which France had paid 
dearly and was to pay more dearly still, but no 
one will attempt to deny that, according to his 
narrow lights, he had performed his public duties 
unflinchingly, and sincerely desired the welfare of 
his subjects ; and it was an immense satisfaction 
to him to reflect that the heir to his throne possessed 
a no less keen appreciation of the obUgations of 


kingship. " Here," said he, as he presented the 
new Dauphin to the Assembly of the Clergy, " is 
the prince who will soon succeed me, and who, 
by his virtue and his piety, will render the Church 
still more flourishing, and the kingdom still more 
happy." ^ And, to show his confidence in his 
grandson, he broke through all the traditions of 
his reign, and practically admitted him to a share 
of that authority which he had hitherto so jealously 
guarded, by " ordering the Ministers to work with 
the Dauphin whenever sent for, and, whether sent 
for or not, to make him acquainted with all public 
affairs." ^ 

In circumstances so favourable, the Due de 
Bourgogne rapidly acquired that ease and con- 
fidence in social intercourse, the absence of which 
his well-wishers had so long deplored. Instead 
of shutting himself up in his cabinet, he mingled 
freely in the life of the world about him, and lost 
no opportunity of making himself acquainted with 
his future subjects. Instead of being timid and 
reserved in conversation, he spoke easily and 
naturally to every one, and gained all hearts by his 
good-humour, courtesy, and tact. " One beheld," 
writes Saint-Simon, " this prince diffident, un- 
sociable, self-centred, a stranger in his own house, 
embarrassed everywhere, become little by Uttle 
easy, dignified, gay, agreeable, presiding over the 

^ Dangeau. 

' Saint-Simon. The writer represents the Ministers as " be- 
wildered " by this order and " unable to hide their astonishment 
and discomfiture." But his hatred and contempt for these " mar- 
pMix de l'£tat " is well known ; and it seems more probable that 
they welcomed the opportunity thus afforded them of ingratiating 
themselves with their future master. 

? 5 

c ^'^ 

^-- ^ 

f a: > 
c ^ - 


groups gathered about him, Uke the divinity of a 
temple, who receives with kindness the homage to 
which he is accustomed, and recompenses the 
mortals who offer it with his kindly regard." 

Now, too, the fruit of the years of earnest study 
began to reveal itself, and those who knew him 
little marvelled at the wide and varied knowledge 
which he had acquired. History, politics, science, 
finance, he discoursed upon them all, not in the 
manner of a pedant, but in a light and pleasant 
way, which charmed while it instructed ; and 
people sometimes in gathering about him were 
less anxious to pay their court, than to listen to 
the conversation of a man so cultured and widely 

The prince's popularity increased by leaps and 
bounds. "From the Court to Paris," says Saint- 
Simon, " and from Paris to the depths of the pro- 
vinces, his reputation flew so rapidly that the 
few people formerly attached to the Dauphin asked 
one another if they could believe what was reported 
from all sides." Saint-Simon, however, admits that 
this astonishing change in public opinion was " not 
entirely due to the marvellous qualities of the 
young prince," and that a natural reaction against 
the hostile feeling towards him that had been 
excited by the cabal, and the hope that his accession 
would be the dawn of a more prosperous era, 
largely contributed to it. 

If the Due de Bourgogne abandoned the almost 
cloistral seclusion in which he had hitherto lived, 
it must not be supposed that he relaxed, to any 
appreciable extent, the severity of his religious 
principles. It is true that Madame, writing in 


May 1711, declares that he now " preaches little," 
meaning that he no longer endeavoured to persuade 
his friends to look at matters of religion from his 
own standpoint ; but in other respects there was 
very little change. He still, for example, regarded 
the theatre with a jaundiced eye, declined to 
receive a deputation from the Comedie-Fran5aise, 
and refused to attend a State performance there, 
" because the best theatre for a dauphin's energy 
was the improvement of the provinces." " But 
what will you do ? " said Madame de Maintenon 
to him one day, " when you become the master ? 
Will you prohibit operas, comedies, and other 
plays ? Many people are of opinion that, if they 
were stopped, their place would be supplied by 
even more reprehensible amusements." " I should 
weigh carefuUy the arguments for and against," he 
replied. " I should examine the inconveniences, 
which might arise in either eventuality, and then 
I should choose the course which would entail 
the least." ^ And Proyart gives it as his opinion, 
that, if he had come to the throne, he would only 
have allowed the continued existence of the theatre, 
on condition of " reforming it on the model of the 
pieces played at Saint-Cyr." ^ 

We shall not attempt to discuss here the various 
projects for the reform of Church and State which 
have been attributed to the Due de Bourgogne : 
the decentralisation of the administration by the 
abolition of the intendants' and farmers of taxes ; 
the summoning of the States-General and the Pro- 
vincial Estates, and the establishment of local 

' Entretien avec Madame de Glapion, in Gefiroy. 
' Vie du Dauphin, plve de Louis xv. 


Councils ; the restoration of the great nobles to 
the political importance of which Louis xiv had 
deprived them— the dream of Saint-Simon; a 
redistribution of clerical benefices, to put an end 
to the scandalous contrast between the wealthy 
pluralist and the poverty-stricken parish priest ; 
the rigorous suppression of luxury at the Court, 
which should thus set an example of economy to 
the whole country ; a peaceful policy abroad, and 
all the other schemes outlined by Fenelon and 
Chevreuse in their Plans de gouvernement,^ or by 
the Due de Bourgogne himself in the papers which 
he left behind him.* 

If he had lived to ascend the throne, would he 
have succeeded in regenerating France, and in 
securing by wise and orderly progress what was 
only attained at the cost of such terrible sacrifices ? 
Or had the canker already eaten so deeply into the 
roots of the social system, that nothing but the re- 
volutionary knife could hope to destroy it. We can 
only conj ecture. Perhaps, with all his good qualities 
and all his good intentions, he was scarcely the man 
for the work : too narrow in his religious views — 
the toleration of Jansenists or the recall of the 
Huguenots formed no part of his plans — to appeal 
to a sceptical age ; too inclined to repose confidence 
in men whose virtues were far superior to their 
abilities ; lacking that strength of character, that 

' Plans de gouvernement cofcertSs avec le due de Chevreuse pour 
itre proposes au due de Bourgogne. These plans were drawn up at 
Chaulnes, in October 171 1, and are often spoken of as " les Tables 
de Chaulnes." They will be found in the CEuvres computes de 
FSnelon (edit. 1851), vol. vii. 

• Some of these documents have been pubhshed by Proyart, in 
his Vie du Dauphin. 


fixity of purpose, which alone would have enabled 
him to triumph over the opposition of the more 
conservative elements in the nation. 

What is certain, is that he would have shown 
himself the most virtuous king since Saint-Louis, 
and that his exemplary private life would have 
strengthened the moral authority of royalty as 
much as his son's unbridled licentiousness did to 
destroy it. And who can refuse to believe that 
that son would have been a very different king 
had he had the advantage of such a father's training 
and example, instead of being exposed from child- 
hood to the enervating influences which were to 
prove his ruin ? The Due de Bourgogne might 
not have averted the Revolution, but he would at 
least have averted the excesses which accompanied 
it ; he might not have saved the Monarchy, but at 
least its sun would not have gone down in blood. 

And in his efforts to give practical expression 
to the maxim so often on his lips, that kings exist 
for the sake of their people, and not people for 
the sake of kings, he would have found in his 
wife a loyal supporter. For that gradual change 
in the Duchesse de Bourgogne's outlook on life 
of which we have spoken elsewhere had been 
undoubtedly stimulated by the change in her 
rank. As the husband had succeeded in throwing 
off the timidity and constraint which had been so 
great an obstacle to his popularity and influence, 
so did the wife recognise that the time had now 
come when she must put away from her childish 
things and do all in her power to prepare herself 
for the great position which she might soon be 
called upon to fill. The grace, dignity, and tact 


with which she discharged her social duties de- 
lighted every one. " Madame la Dauphine, in 
taking a more exalted place," writes Madame de 
Maintenon, " becomes more courteous and 
attentive than she has ever been. . . . She makes 
herself adored by everybody." 

She evinced, too, a lively and intelligent 
interest in public affairs, and particularly in the 
fortunes of the war, and set the ladies of the Court 
an example of patriotism worthy of aU imitation. 
" Her great gaiety," writes Madame de Maintenon 
again, " does not prevent her from showing great 
sympathy in trouble. . . . There is no French- 
woman more devoted to the welfare of this country 
than she." ^ 

An instance of this is related by Dangeau. 

When, on August 6, 171 1, the Court which was 
then at Fontainebleau, was anxiously awaiting 
news of Marlborough's expected attack upon those 
lines which Villars had boasted would prove the 
English general's ne plus ultra^ some one suggested 
to the Duchesse de Bourgogne that she should 
make up a card-party. " Eh ! " she exclaimed, 
" with whom do you expect me to play ? With 
ladies who have their husbands, or with fathers 
who have their children, engaged in a battle which 
must be, according to all appearances, a sanguinary 
one ? And can I be tranquil myself when it is a 
question of a State affair of the greatest import- 
ance ? " And, sending for her carriage, she drove 

1 Letter to the Princesse des Ursins, January 11, 171 3, in 

' There was no engagement, Marlborough, by a brilliant man- 
oeuvre, completely outwitting Villars and gaining the position he 
desired without firing a shot. 


along the high-road to Paris, to meet any courier 
who might be on his way. 

She certainly knew, however, how to make up 
for the self-denial she imposed upon herself at 
moments when she considered that amusements 
were out of place, as the following extract from a 
letter of Madame de Maintenon to the Princesse 
des Ursins will show : 

" Madame la Dauphine takes the most lively 
interest in so joyful a subject [the prospect of 
peace] ; she revels in it to its fullest extent. She 
intends to do something on the day that peace is 
concluded that she has never done before, and will 
never do again ; but she has not yet decided what 
it shall be. In the meanwhile, she is going to the 
Te Deum at Notre-Dame ; to dinner with the 
Duchesse du Lude, in a beautiful brand-new 
house ; then to the Opera ; to sup with the Prince 
de Rohan, in that magnificent Hotel de Guise ; 
then to cards and a ball, which will last all night, 
and, as the hour of her return will be that of my 
waking, she proposes to breakfast with me on 
arriving. I think, Madame, that you would find such 
a day rather long, in spite of all its pleasures." ^ 

Louis XIV was more than usually gloomy and 
thoughtful during that visit to Fontainebleau, 
for the news from Flanders was bad and the 
negotiations for peace made no progress ; and even 
the efforts of the Dauphine were sometimes power- 
less to charm away his melancholy. One evening 
in September, when she had been " jabbering all 
kinds of nonsense and indulging in a hundred 
childish pranks in order to amuse him," she caught 
sight of her two enemies, the Princesse de Conti 

1 Letter of November 30, 171 1, in Geffroy. 


and Madame la Duchesse exchanging disdainful 
glances. The Dauphine waited until the King 
had gone into an adjoining room to feed his dogs, 
which he did regularly every evening, and then, 
catching hold of her friend Madame de Saint- 
Simon, with one hand, and of Madame de Levis, 
another of her favourites, with the other, she 
said to them : " Did you see them ? Did you 
see them ? I know as well as they do that there 
is no common sense in what I have done and said, 
and that it is ridiculous, but he requires rousing, 
and those kind of things amuse him." And, 
leaning on the arms of the two ladies, she began 
to skip about and dance, exclaiming : " Ha ! I laugh 
at them. Ha ! I mock at them ! I shall be 
their Queen, and I have nothing to do with them, 
either now or at any time. They will have to 
reckon with me, and I shall be their Queen." 
Madame de Saint-Simon and Madame de Levis, 
much shocked, tried to prevail upon her to be 
silent, but until the King returned, she continued 
dancing and singing : " Ha ! I mock at them ! 
I have nothing to do with them ! I shall be 
their Queen ! " 

" Alas ! " observes Saint-Simon, who relates 
this anecdote, " she believed it, this charming 
princess, and who did not share her belief " ^ 

^ On the other hand, Madame declares that the Duchesse de 
Bourgogne was convinced that her end was near. " A learned 
astrologer of Turin," she writes, "had predicted to Madame le 
Dauphine all that would happen to her, and that she would die in 
her twenty-seventh year." . . . While Madame le Dauphine was still 
in good health, she often said : " Well, I must enjoy myself, because 
I cannot enjoy myself long, for I shall die this year." Where the 
Duchesse de Bourgogne is concerned, however, Saint-Simon's testi- 
mony is always to be preferred to Madame's. 


Letters of the Duchesse de Bourgogne to her mother — The 
princess in very weak health — Her illness and death — Grief of 
the Court — -The Due de Bourgogne goes to Marly — A touching 
scene — His interview with the King — His illness and death — 
The lying in state of the Due and Duchesse de Bourgogne — 
Their bodies are conveyed to Saint-Denis — Death of the Due de 
Bretagne — Suspicions of poison — The snuff-box of the Due de 
NoaUles — Accusations against the Due d'Orleans — The probable 

TWO of the few letters written by the Duchesse 
de Bourgogne to her mother which have 
been preserved prove that, at the close 
of 1711, the young princess was in very bad health, 
which is not surprising, since the autumn had 
been a very wet one, and the whole country around 
Versailles was flooded : ^ — 

" Versailles, December 13, 171 1 
"It is sad, my dear mother, that my brother 
and I have the same sympathy in toothache. 
I hope that he has not had it as badly as I had 
last night ; it made me suffer terribly, though I 
am rid of it for the moment. For more than two 
months it has seized me from time to time. I have 
ceased taking precautions against it, for keeping 
my room does me no good; and, during the time 
that I am not in it, I do not think of it, and am 

1 " Floods surround us on all sides. For a month it has rained 
every day and all night too." — Madame de Maintenon to the Prin- 
cesse des Ursins, November 30, 171 1. 


always hopeful that it will not return. I merely 
avoid the wind in my ears, and eating anything 
which may make it bad. I believe that the dreadful 
weather is largely responsible for these inflamma- 
tions . . ." 

" Versailles, December 18, 1711 
"It is in order not to miss a week in assuring 
you myself of my affection, that I am writing 
to-day. For the last seven days I have been, 
my dear mother, in a state of great exhaustion, 
which has prevented me from dressing, for the 
inflammation which I had in my teeth has spread 
over my whole body. I am scarcely able to move, 
and my head feels a dreadful weight. 

" I wished to anticipate the first day of the 
year, by offering to all my family the good wishes 
that I desire for them ; but, since I am unable 
to do so, I content myself, my dear mother, with 
embracing you with all my heart." ^ 

From the correspondence of Madame de Main- 
tenon, it would appear that this toothache and 
rheumatism became less severe just before the 
New Year ; but, a few days later, the writer men- 
tions that the Dauphine had had " an attack of 
fever," and that " the courtiers had been in a 
state of consternation, and had talked only about 
the irreparable loss she would be to them." ^ 

1 Gagnifere, Marie A d&laide de Savoie : Lettres et Correspondances. 

''Letters of December 28, 1711, and January 11, 1712. In the 
latter letter, Madame de Maintenon draws a picture of the enviable 
position occupied by the Dauphine, which, in view of the tragedy 
which was so close at hand, is invested with a pathetic interest : 
" She has reason to be happy ; she is happily married, much be- 
loved by the King and the Dauphin, and is assuredly the delight 
of the Court. The people love her much, because she lets herself 
be seen very readily ; and she has the most pleasing children that 


The rainy autumn had been followed by a 
severe winter. A malignant type of measles — 
called by the Faculty " rougeole pourpre " — broke 
out both in Paris and at Versailles, and claimed 
many victims, among them the young Marquis 
de Gondrin, eldest son of the Due d'Antin, and 
one of the Dauphin's menins. On January i8, 
the Dauphine, who was suffering severely from a 
swollen face, accompanied the Court to Marly. 
On her arrival, she felt so ill that she went to bed 
at once ; but, on learning that the King wished her 
to be present in the salon, she rose at seven o'clock, 
and played cards, as usual, " en deshabilli and 
with her head wrapped up." ^ When the card- 
party broke up, she went to Madame de Main- 
tenon's apartments to talk to the King, as was her 
custom, after which she went back to bed, where 
she supped. On the morrow, she did not rise till 
the evening, when, in spite of the pain she was 
suffering, she again made her appearance in the 
salon and at Madame de Maintenon's. On the 
20th she was better, and during the remainder of 
the visit lived her ordinary life. But there can 
be little doubt that, by so doing, she severely taxed 
her strength and rendered herself particularly 
liable to infection. 

On February i, the Court returned to Versailles, 
and on the evening of Tuesday the 5th the Dauphine 
had a fresh attack of fever. Nevertheless, she rose 
at her ordinary hour and passed the day as usual. 

she could possibly desire, less handsome than yours, but very 
strong, and perfect pictures ; graceful Uke herself, and displaying 
much intelligence." 

Everything, in a word, save health I 

1 Saint-Simon. , . 


In the night of the 6th to 7th, the fever increased, 
but, as the following day was a Sunday, she rose 
and attended Mass. At about six in the evening, 
she was seized with " a sharp pain under the 
temple, which did not extend to the dimensions 
of a ten-sous piece," ^ but was so violent that she 
was obliged to beg the King, who was coming to 
see her, not to enter. 

This excruciating pain continued all that night 
and until the late afternoon of the following day, 
and was proof against tobacco chewed and smoked, 
a quantity of opium, and two bleedings in the arms. 
" She has convulsions," writes Madame de Main- 
tenon ; " she screams like a woman in childbirth, 
and with the same intervals." ^ 

As the pain subsided, the fever increased. 
Mareschal, the King's surgeon-in-ordinary, bled 
her in the foot, but she passed all the 9th in a 
semi-comatose condition, which greatly puzzled 
the doctors. Towards evening, a rash broke out, 
and Boudin, her own chief physician, pronounced 
her to be suffering from measles. But during the 
night the rash disappeared, the fever increased, 
and the doctors were more puzzled than ever. 
Bleeding in the foot was again tried, but without 
effect, nor did better fortune attend the adminis- 
tration of a powerful emetic, which operated " -par 
en haut et -par en bas," * but brought no reUef. 

1 Saint-Simon. Madame de Maintenon describes it as " a 
fixed pain between the ear and the upper end of the jaw " ; adding : 
" the place of the pain is so small that it could be covered by a 

'' Letter of Madame de Maintenon to the Princesse des Ursins, 
February 7, 17 12, in Geffroy. 

' Sourches, MSmoires. 


In the course of the loth, the Dauphin, who 
had refused to move from his wife's side for three 
days and nights, save for a short walk in the gardens, 
which he had only been induced to take by the 
King's express orders, was observed to be looking 
very ill, but this was attributed to the strain which 
he was undergoing and aroused no anxiety. 

During the night of Wednesday to Thursday, 
the patient was several times delirious, and she 
appeared so near death, that it was thought advisable 
that she should confess. Accordingly, Pere de la 
Rue, her Jesuit confessor, " whom she had always 
appeared to like very much," approached the bed 
and exhorted her not to delay her confession. 
" She looked at him," says Saint-Simon, " replied 
that she quite understood him, and then remained 
silent. Like a sensible man, he perceived what 
was in her mind, and, like a good man, at once told 
her that if she had any objection to confess to 
him, he begged her not to constrain herself, 
but only to tell him whom she desired, and he 
would himself go and bring him." The Dauphine 
thereupon mentioned M. Bailly, one of the mission- 
aries of Saint-Lazare, who had charge of the parish 
of Versailles, " a man much esteemed, but not 
altogether free from the suspicion of Jansenism," 
who was the directeur of her dame du falais Madame 
de Nogaret and several very devout ladies of the 
Court. Pere BaiUy, however, happened to have 
gone to Paris, on learning which the princess 
asked for Pere Noel, a Franciscan, whom the Jesuit 
hastened to bring to the sick-room. This change 
of confessors, Saint-Simon declares, created a great 
sensation, and was generally regarded as a repudia- 


tion, not so much of Pere de la Rue, as of the 
Order which he represented. 

Meanwhile, the Due de Bourgogne, who had 
concealed his own illness so long as he could, in 
order to remain at his wife's bedside, had broken 
down, and when on the arrival of Pere Noel every 
one withdrew from the room, the King and the 
doctors persuaded him to retire to his own apart- 
ments, where, however, they only succeeded in 
keeping him by concealing the gravity of the 
princess's condition. 

The Dauphine's confession finished, the last 
Sacraments were administered, Louis xiv going to 
the foot of the grand staircase to meet the Host, 
and conducting it to the door of the sick-room. The 
princess received them with great piety, and 
observed to Madame de Maintenon, " Ma tante, 
I feel quite another person ; it seems to me that I 
am altogether changed." She was, however, very 
uneasy about her debts, and wanted to see her 
husband, in order to speak to him about them ; 
but the King had given orders that the Dauphin 
was not to be allowed to return. Madame de 
Maintenon contrived to quiet her, by the assur- 
ance that the prince would see that they were 
discharged as soon as possible. '^ 

Although the doctors had not yet abandoned 
hope, and had refused to permit the prayers for 
the dying to be read, the patient herself was under 
no such illusion, and asked that her ladies might 
be sent for, in order that she might bid them 
farewell. But to the King, who came to see her 

1 Mile. d'Aumale, Souvenirs sur Madame de Maintenon, published 
by MM. Hanotaux and d'Haussonville. 


several times during the day, she said nothing 
which might lead him to suppose that she believed 
her end to be at hand, telling Madame de Maintenon 
that " she feared to grieve him." 

In the evening, seven doctors of the Court and 
Paris met in consultation, in the presence of 
Louis XIV and the ex-Queen of England, who had 
come over from Saint-Germain. It was decided 
to bleed the Duchesse de Bourgogne again in the 
foot,^ and, if this failed, to give an emetic early 
the following morning. Neither remedy had any 
effect, and in the afternoon of the 12th she became 
unconscious, and it was recognised that the end 
could only be a matter of hours. As a last resource, 
a quack remedy was administered, which brought 
her back to consciousness for a few minutes, during 
which she recognised Madame de Maintenon. 
" Madame, you are going to God," said Madame de 
Maintenon. " Oui, ma tante," replied the Dauphine.^ 
These were her last words, for immediately after- 
wards she lapsed into insensibility, and at a quarter 
past eight in the evening breathed her last. 

A few minutes before the princess expired, Louis 
XIV, who had been in and out of the sick-room all day, 
entered his coach at the foot of the grand staircase, 
and, accompanied by Madame de Maintenon and 
Madame de Caylus, drove away to Marly. " They 
were both in the most bitter grief, and had not the 
courage to go to the Dauphin." ^ 

With some few exceptions, such as the odious 

1 Saint-Simon says that all were in favour of this, but, according 
to Sourches, two of them protested against it. 

^ Mile. d'Aumale, Souvenirs sur Madame de Maintenon, published 
by MM. Hanotaux and d'Haussonville. 

' Saint-Simon. 


Duchesse de Berry, whom Saint-Simon represents 
as " transported with joy at seeing herself de- 
Uvered from a powerful rival," their grief was 
shared by the whole Court, and Madame de Caylus 
undoubtedly expressed the general feeling when 
she wrote two days later, for Madame de Maintenon, 
to the Princesse des Ursins : " Tout est mort id, 
Madame ; la vie en est 6t'ee. This princess gave 
life to everything, and charmed us all. We are 
still stupefied and stunned by our loss." ^ 

" With her," says Saint-Simon, " departed joy, 
pleasure, and everything gracious ; and darkness 
brooded over the Court. She had been its life, 
and, if it survived her, it was only to languish. 
Never was princess so regretted ; never was one 
more worthy of regret." 

Great as was the grief of Louis xiv and Madame 
de Maintenon, it was trifling in comparison with the 
anguish of the bereaved husband. He remained, 
however, outwardly calm, and showed the fortitude 
which might have been expected from a man of 
his intense religious convictions ; but, in reality, 
he had received a shock which must have largely 
contributed to the fatal termination of the disease 
which already had him in its grip. 

As, after the death of Monseigneur, he had 
moved into his father's apartments, and his bedroom 
was immediately below that of the Dauphine, his 
friends persuaded him to follow the King to Marly, 
in order to spare him the sounds from the death- 
chamber, where, after the autopsy always per- 
formed on members of the Royal Family had 

^ Geffroy, Madame de Maintenon cHapris sa conespondance 


taken place, the body of his wife would be em- 
balmed and coffined. At seven o'clock on the 
morning of the 13th, he was carried in a chair — 
for he was too weak to walk — to his carriage and 
was driven to Marly. Learning, on his arrival, 
that the King was not yet awake, he had himself 
carried to the chapel to hear Mass, and then to 
his own apartments, where etiquette obliged him 
to receive visits of condolence from the Princes 
and Princesses of the Blood and a number of other 
persons. Several of those who came were loud 
in their condemnation of the doctors who had 
attended the Dauphine, and declared that their 
treatment had killed her, which was probably 
true. " Whether the doctors have killed her, 
or whether God has called her," replied the Due de 
Bourgogne, " we must adore equally what he 
permits, and what he decrees." 

When Saint-Simon presented himself, he was 
aghast at the change which had come over the 
Dauphin since he had last seen him. " His eyes 
had a strained, fixed expression, with something 
wild about it " ; and he also noticed " numerous 
marks, livid rather than red, upon his face." 
It was evident that he was sickening for the same 
complaint as his wife. 

"The Dauphin was standing" he continues. 
" A few moments later, they came to tell him 
that the King was awake. The tears he had 
hitherto restrained began to flow. He turned 
round, said nothing, and remained motionless. 
His three menins suggested, once or twice, that he 
should go to the King. He neither answered 
nor stirred. I approached and signed to him to 


go ; then spoke to him to the same effect. Finding 
that he did not respond, I ventured to take his 
arm, representing that, sooner or later, he must 
see the King, who was expecting him, and that 
it would be more gracious not to defer his visit; 
and with that I gently pushed him towards the 
door. He gave me a look that pierced my heart, 
and went out. I followed him a few steps, and 
then withdrew to recover myself. I never saw 
him again. May God in His mercy grant that 
I may see him eternally, in that place where His 
goodness had doubtless placed him ! " 

The interview between the two men who, each 
in his different way, had loved the dead princess 
so tenderly, was, as might be supposed, a very 
touching one. Few words were spoken, for the 
grief of both was too great for speech. The King, 
however, was much alarmed at the appearance of 
his grandson, as indeed was every one at his lever, 
and ordered the doctors who were present to 
feel his pulse. They at once recommended him 
to go to bed ; and the King ordered him to follow 
their advice. He obeyed, and never rose again. 

We shall not relate the progress of the Dauphin's 
illness, which was marked by " the most incompar- 
able submission and love of God " on the part of the 
poor prince, and by the most complete impotence 
on the part of the doctors, who, finding themselves 
in the presence of the same symptoms which had 
confronted them in the illness of the Duchesse de 
Bourgogne, and mindful of the failure of the 
remedies which they had then employed, seemed 
afraid to do anything. Early on the 17th, his 
condition was seen to be hopeless; at midnight 


the last Sacraments were administered, and at a 
little after eight on the following morning the 
end came. 

"France," says Saint-Simon, "succumbed be- 
neath this last chastisement. God had shown 
her a prince whom she did not deserve. The 
earth was not worthy of him." And he adds, 
" He was already ripe for eternal bliss." 

No one who cares to read the touching account 
of the last moments of the Due de Bourgogne 
left by his confessor, Pere Martineau,^ will be in- 
clined to question this last statement. 

After the autopsy and the embalming had 
been performed, the body of the Dauphin was 
transported to Versailles, and laid beside that of 
his wife, on a state bed in the Dauphin's grand 
cabinet. Here they lay in state for three days, 
guarded, on the right, by the menins of the Dauphin 
and, on the left, by the dames du palais of the 
Dauphine, and by four bishops, two on either 
side of the coffins. All the Princes and Princesses 
of the Blood passed in procession before the coffins 
and sprinkled them with holy water. 

On the evening of the 23rd, the two coffins, 
covered by a pall embroidered, on the right with 
the Arms of France, and on the left with those of 
Savoy, were transported in great state to Saint- 
Denis. Although it was after midnight when 
the cortege entered Paris, by way of the Porte 
Saint-Honore, the streets were lined by an immense 
crowd, which, however, maintained the most perfect 
order, and scarcely a voice was heard, save those 
of the monks of the various convents on the way, 

1 Recueil des Vertus du due de Bourgogne et ensuite Dauphin. 


who came with Ughted tapers to chant the De 
profundis as the funeral car passed by. Saint- 
Denis was reached towards six the next morning, 
and the coffins formally entrusted to the abbot. 
For forty days they lay in the church, covered by 
the same pall, and were then lowered into the 
royal vault. ^ 

Death had not yet finished taking toll of the 
Royal House. At the beginning of March, both 
the httle sons of the Due and Duchesse de Bourgogne 
were attacked by measles, and a few days later the 
Due de Bretagne had followed his parents to the 
grave. His brother, the Due d'Anjou, recovered, 
and no doubt owed his life to the good sense of 
his gouvernante, the Duchesse de Ventadour, who 
shut herself up with him and refused to allow a 
doctor to enter the room. 

In an age in which the deaths of royal and 
other distinguished persons were so frequently 
attributed to poison, and in a Court which had 
not forgotten the crimes of BrinviUiers, the investi- 
gations of the Chamber Ardente, and the suspicions 
which the death of the first Madame and that of 
her eldest daughter, Marie Louise d'Orleans, Queen 
of Spain, had excited, it was only to be expected 
that the sudden and almost simultaneous removal 
of the Due and Duchesse de Bourgogne should 
have given rise to the same reports ; and, when the 
two little princes fell ill, in their turn, and the elder 
died, while the recovery of the younger was ascribed 
to an antidote which Madame de Ventadour had 

'^ Mercure de France, February, 17 12; Sourches, Memoires; 
Dangeau, Journal. 


given him, few people doubted the existence of a 
conspiracy to destroy the whole family of the heir 
to the throne. 

Nor can it be denied that circumstances were 
singularly favourable to the growth of such sus- 
picions. During the visit to Marly which preceded 
the Dauphine's illness, she had been warned by 
Boudin, her first physician, that there was a plot 
to poison both her and her husband ; and, on the 
very next day, the Dauphin had received a similar 
warning, in a letter from his brother, the King of 
Spain. Boudin, who made no secret of his informa- 
tion, declared that it was trustworthy, though he 
did not know whence it came ; but, as Saint- 
Simon very pertinently observes : " If he did not 
know whence it came, how could he be assured 
that it was to be relied upon ? As for Philip v, he 
likewise asserted that his information was reliable, 
though he did not mention its source. 

But this was not all, for at the autopsy upon 
the Dauphin, and again upon that upon his wife, 
both Fagon and Boudin declared emphatically that 
death was due to poison. 

Mareschal, on the other hand, was equally 
positive that both had died from natural causes, 
and besought the King, " for the tranquillity and 
prolongation of his life, to dismiss from his mind 
ideas terrible in themselves, false, according to all 
his experience and knowledge, and which bred 
only cares and suspicions the most vague and 
irremediable." ^ 

The news of the dissensions between the doctors 

' Saint-Simon. We spare our readers the details of the autop- 
sies, but they will find them in Saint-Simon. 


soon got abroad, and both Court and city at once 
decided that the prince and princess had been 
poisoned. Saint-Simon mentions " a very beautiful 
box, full of Spanish snuff," which the Due de 
Noailles had given the Dauphine on the very 
evening on which she was taken ill.^ " This box, 
when looked for the next day, could not be found, 
and its disappearance, joined to the iUness of the 
Dauphine, aroused the most sombre suspicions. 
Nothing, however, was breathed of these sus- 
picions, beyond a very restricted circle ; for the 
princess took snuff without the knowledge of the 
King, who would have made a fine to-do if he had 
discovered it." The chronicler adds that the Arch- 
bishop of Rheims — a deadly enemy, by the way, 
of the giver of the snuff-box — believed to his dying 
day that the Due de Noailles had poisoned the 
Dauphine, but that he himself could never bring 
himself to believe it. 

It was upon a more exalted personage than the 
Due de Noailles that public suspicion fastened, 
the Due d'Orleans, to wit. The future Regent 
was in very bad odour just then, and people were 
ready to believe anything to his discredit. If the 
Dauphin and his sons were removed, said they, 
would not his son-in-law, the Due de Berry, succeed 
to the Crown, and his too-loved daughter become 
Queen ? Did he not openly avow his contempt 
for religion and morality ? Was not his private 
life a scandal ? And, finally, was he not known 
to be interested in chemistry, and to be the patron 
of a Dutch savant named Romberg, who had 

1 Snufi-taking had lately come into fashion among the ladies 
of the Court, although the King strongly disapproved of the habit. 


doubtless assisted him in the preparation of the 
poison ? What need to look further for the 
criminal ? 

When the Due d'Orleans went with his mother 
to sprinkle holy water on the cof&n of the Duchesse 
de Bourgogne, the crowd plainly showed its sus- 
picions, and when, on February 21, he went alone 
to perform a similar office for the Dauphin, he had 
to endure " the most atrocious insults from a people 
which believed it was showing him clemency in not 
falling upon him and tearing him to pieces." 
Similar scenes were witnessed in Paris, when he 
passed through it with the funeral cortege, in 
spite of the precautions taken by the police, and 
" for some minutes there was everything to 
fear." ' 

By the courtiers the duke was shunned as 
though he were stricken with the plague, and if he 
spoke to any one, the person addressed immediately 
found an excuse for terminating the conversation. 

Orleans's conduct was scarcely that of a guilty 
person, since he demanded that the charges against 
him should be investigated, and begged Louis xiv 
to cause Homberg, and any of his own servants 
whom he thought fit, to be arrested and inter- 
rogated, and to allow him to go to the Bastille 
until the mystery should be cleared up ; and, 
though the King appears for a time to have been 
inclined to share the general opinion, his natural 
good sense soon reasserted itself, and when, two 
years later, the death of the Due de Berry gave 

^ Saint-Simon. This is in curious contrast with what Sourches 
and the Mercure tell us of the orderly conduct of the crowd on that 
occasion ; but probably these scenes occurred on the return from 


rise to the same accusations, he did not hesitate 
to express his contempt for such reports. 

That the debauched but kind-hearted Phihppe 
d'Orleans was, in this instance, a much-wronged 
man admits of no manner of doubt ; while Saint- 
Simon's attempt to fix the supposed crime upon 
the Due du Maine is too obviously dictated by- 
malice to merit consideration. Indeed, there seems 
to be no reason to suppose that the deaths of the 
Due and Duchesse de Bourgogne were due to any 
but natural causes, that is to say, to the malignant 
type of measles then so prevalent, aided by the 
ineptitude of the doctors who attended them. 
The opinion of Fagon and Boudin that both had 
been poisoned was undoubtedly influenced by the 
warnings of which we have spoken, and by a not 
unnatural desire to find some plausible explanation 
of their failure, not only to save the lives of their 
royal patients, but even to diagnose the disease ; 
and it should also be remembered that Mareschal, 
who ridiculed the theory of poison, was a man of 
unimpeachable honesty, and, in comparison with 
his contemporaries, a very able practitioner.^ 
Finally, modern science has declared that the 
symptoms which so puzzled the doctors were not 
inconsistent with measles in a malignant form.^ 

* He was the founder of the Academy of Surgery. 

" See, on this subject, the opinion of Professor Dieulafoy, cited by 
the Comte d' Haussonville, in la Duchesse de Bourgogne et V Alliance 
savoy arde sous Louis xiv, vol. iv., and that of Dr. Cabanas, in his 
les Marts mysterieuses de I'histoire. 



Absalon, tragedy, 238 
Alberoni, Abbe (afterwards Car- 
dinal), 374, 381, 405 
AUery, Comte de la Roche d', 328 

Angennes, Julie d' : See Mon- 
tausier, Duchesse de 

Anjou, Louis Due d' : See Louis xv 

Philippe Due d' : See Philip 

V of Spain 

Anne Louise de Bourbon : See 
Bourbon, Anne Louise de 

Anne Marie d'Orlfeans, Duchess of 
Savoy, marriage, 14 ; childhood, 
19 ; appearance, 20 ; character, 
20, 31 ; husband's treatment of, 
23,31,86; affection for husband, 
33 ; birth of children, 34 ; re- 
lationship with her daughters, 
40-42 ; sentiments re Marie Ade- 
laide's marriage, 66, 86 ; and 
siege of Turin, 326 

Anti-Lucretius, Pohgnac's, 317 

Antin, Due d', 244, 356 

Apollon et IssS, 203 

Arcy, Comte d', 27, 34 

Arpajon, Duchesse d", 79 

Artagnan, Comte d', 275 

Athalie, 181, 239 

Aubign6, Fran9oise d' ^ See Ayen, 
Comtesse d' 

Augsburg, League of, formation, 
46 ; fighting in Dauphin^, 50 ; 
Victor Amadeus joins, 47 ; fight- 
ing in Piedmont and Savoy, 1690, 
49 ; attempts to detach Victor 
Amadeus from, 51 ; Victor Am- 
adeus abandons, 60, 72 ; Mans- 
feld's mission, 70; Treaty of 
Ryswick, 73 

Aumale, Mile d', 170, 334 

Ayen, Comtesse d' (Frangoise d' 
Aul3ign6), 172 ; friendship with 
Duchesse de Bourgogne, 180; 
histrionic talent, 237-239 

Barbesi, Madame, 80 
Barbezieux, Minister of War, 69 

Barcelona, siege of, 324 note 

Baron, actor, 328 

Beauvilliers, Due de, 112, 126 

Duchesse de, 128 

Bellerive, Chevalier de, 371 

Bergeyck, Comte de, 364 

Berry, Charles Due de, descent, 
113 note; childhood, 135; phys- 
ical training, 1 36 ; first visit to 
the theatre, 207 ; Flanders cam- 
paign, 346, 360 ; marriage, 424 ; 
and death of Monseigneur, 434 ; 
death, 464 

Duchesse de (Marie Louise 

Elisabeth d' Orleans, called Made- 
moiselle), marriage, 425 ; char- 
acter 427 ; appearance, 428 note ; 
Cabal of Meudon, 429 ; and 
death of Monseigneur, 434 ; ob- 
jection to do ceremonial service 
for the Duchesse de Bourgogne, 
439 ; and death of Duchesse de 
Bourgogne, 457 

Berwick, James Fitzjames, Duke of, 
descent, 361 note ; and siege of 
Lille, 385 ; character, 387 ; con- 
flict with VendOme, 387, 398 

Bezzola, Mile, 83, 122 

Biron, 366 

Blainville, Marquis de, 193 

Blois, Mile de : See Orleans, Duch. 
esse de 

Bossuet, and F6nelon, 128, 189 ; 

tutor to Monseigneur, 118 ; and 

Mme Guyon, 188 ; becomes Al- 

" moner of Duchesse de Bourgogne, 


Boudin, physician, 431, 462 

BoufQers, Marfechal de, review at 
Compiggne, 221 ; and Flanders 
campaign of 1702, 274, 277, 278; 
defends Lille, 393 ; quells riot at 
Porte Saint-Martin, 419 

Bourbon, Anne Louise de (Mile de 
Cond6), 19s note 

Duchesse de : See Madame la 




Bourbon, Franfoise Marie de : See 
Orl6ans, Duchesse de 

Louis Alexandre de : See Tou- 
louse, Comte de 

Louise Elisabeth de, 425 

Louise Fran9oise de : See 

Madame la Duchesse 

Bourdaloue, Jesuit preacher, quoted 

Bourgogne, Louis, Due de, first 
meeting with future wife, 112; 
birth and parentage, 115 ; child- 
hood, 124-130; tutors, 125; 
education, 1 30 ; copy of promise 
to Fenelon 133 ; first com- 
munion, i34inote; Fenelon's in- 
fluence, 130-134; daily routine, 
135 ; physical training, 136 ; ap- 
pearance, 138 ; deformity, 138, 
228 ; political training, 139 ; re- 
gulation of courtship, 184; feel- 
ings in regard to exile of Fenelon. 
185, 189 ; wedding costume, 193 ; 
marriage ceremony, 195 ; cere- 
mony of consummation of mar- 
riage, 199 ; Louis XIV restricts 
marriage relationship, 200, 204 ; 
studies political philosophy, 205 ; 
training for future position, 205 ; 
first visit to the theatre, 207 ; 
review at CompiSgne, 220 ; con- 
summation of marriage, 223 ; 
emancipation of, 225 ; member of 
Council of Despatches, 226 ; affec- 
tion for wife, 227, 250 ; early 
married life, 229, 270, 306 ; 
accompanies Philip v of Spain on 
journey to Madrid, 255 ; period of 
frivolity, 266 ; illness of his wife, 
1701 ; effect on, 267 ; corres- 
pondence with Beauvilliers, 267 ; 
pastimes, 267 ; practical jokes 
at his expense, 271 ; visits Fene- 
lon at Cambrai, 276 ; letters to 
Mme de Montgon, 281 et seq. ; 
affection for wife, 280 et seq. ; 
birth of son, 290 ; letter to Philip 
V of Spain, 322 note ; and effect of 
his austerity on wife, 306 ; cabal 
of Meudon, 354, 356, 375, 412 ; 
visits F6nelon in 1708, 359 ; 
correspondence with Mme de 
Maintenon about loss of Ouden- 
arde, 374 ei seq. ; his wife's 
attitude after Oudenarde, 373 ; 
Louis xiv's reception of after 
Flanders campaign of 1708, 401 ; 
generosity in winter of 1708, 

419-421 ; death of Monseigneur, 
435; becomes Dauphin, 437; 
status of Dauphin, outward effect 
on, 441 ; Louis xiv's attitude 
towards, as Dauphin, 441 ; pubUc 
opinion towards, when Dauphin, 

443 ; projects of reform, 419, 

444 ; grief at wife's death, 457 ; 
death and funeral, 459, 460 ; 
suspicions of poison, 461, 465 

, War of the Spanish Succession, 

in nominal command on Flanders 
campaign, 1702, 2y^etseq. ; Rhine 
campaign in 1703, 278 ; takes 
Brisach, 279 ; leaves campaign 
before termination, 279 et seq. ; 
generalship, 345, 398 ; Flanders 
campaign, 1708, 345, 358 et seq.; 
advisability of joint command 
with Vendome in 1 708 considered, 
347. 35 3 ; difficulties with Ven- 
dome in Flanders campaign, 1708, 
360 ; loss of Oudenarde attributed 
to, 366, 370 et seq. ; and siege of 
Lille, 383 ; retreat from Mons- 
en-PueUe attributed to, 392, 
406, 416 ; recalled from Flanders, 
1708, 395 ; responsibility for 
disasters in Flanders campaign 
of 1708 considered, 397, 416 ; life 
during campaign criticised, 399 ; 
Louis XIV gives him command 
of Rhine army, 1709, 416 ; com- 
mand countermanded through 
poverty of nation, 422 

, Character: as child, 124, 130; 

Saint-Simon on, 125-134; temper, 
130 ; Fenelon's influence on, 
130 ; Mme de Maintenon on, 134 
note; Lord St. Cyres on, 134; 
moral development, 1 34 ; in- 
dustry and intelligence, 205 ; 
contrasted with that of wife, 
227 ; seriousness, 228 ; piety and 
austerity, 267 ; as a soldier, 263, 
277, 269, 399 ; dif&dence with 
women, 273 ; Madame's opinion 
of, 306 ; generosity, 419, 437 ; 
status as Dauphin, moral effect 
on, 440 ; religious principles, 
444; attitude towards the theatre, 
268, 444 

Bourgogne, Duchesse de (Marie 
Adelaide of Savoy), birth and 
parentage, 34 ; baptism, 35 ; 
education, 37 ; life at La Vigna, 
40 ; filial affection, 40, 41 ; affec- 
tion for grandmother, 40 ; offered 



as hostage to France, 54 ; pro- 
posed betrothal with King of the 
Romans, 58, 72 ; appearance, 
69, 105 note, 108 ; physique, 69 

, Betrothal to Due de Bourgogne, 

political aspect, 55, 61 ; senti- 
ments in regard to, 67, 72 ; mar- 
riage-contract, 73, 190 ; dowry, 
74 ; trousseau, 75 ; signing of 
marriage-contract, 76 ; future 
Household, 78-81 ; status, 78, 
97 ; question of her femmes de 
chambre, 82 

, Journey to France, escort, 

86-88 ; her father's reluctance 
to part with, 89 ; leaves Turin, 
91 ; farewell to her relatives, 92 ; 
ceremony of welcome at Cham- 
b6ry, 93 ; reception at Mont- 
melian, 95 ; ceremonial welcome 
by French envoys, 96 ; status 
decided, 97, 145 ; at Pont-de- 
Beauvoisin, 98 ; popularity, 100, 
1 04 ; farewell to Piedmontese at- 
tendants, 102; reception at Lyons, 

102 ; conversational powers, 

103 note, 105 ; Louis xiv's 
reception of, 106 ; at Montargis, 
106 ; Louis xiv's description 
of, quoted, 108, no; meeting 
with Due de Bourgogne, 112; 
reception at Fontainebleau, 112, 
140 ; first meeting with Mme de 
Maintenon, 140 

, as la Princesse, relation- 
ship with Mme de Maintenon, 147, 
171, 182 ; education, 140, 172,179; 
Louis XIV gives Crown jewels 
to, 143, 159; status and title, 
145, 146 ; Louis XIV regulates 
her life, 146, 161 ; courtship, 146, 
185 ; James II of England visits, 
146 ; poUtic attitude to Mme 
de Maintenon and Louis xiv 
considered, 147 ; Louis xiv's 
affection for, 147, 156 ; Louis xiv 
gives her the Menagerie, 158, 213 ; 
her amusements, 160 ; letters to 
her grandmother, 38, 171, 172 ; 
moral training, 173 ; visits Saint- 
Cyr, 178-181 ; friendship with 
Mile d'Aubigne, 180; acts in 
Racine's Esther, 182 ; prepara- 
tions for marriage, 190-193 ; 
future Household, 192 ; marriage 
ceremony, 193-196 ; wedding 
dress, 194 

— , as Duchesse de Bourgogne, 

wedding-day festivities, 196-198 ; 
nuptial couch described, and 
benediction of, 198 ; ceremony of 
consummation of marriage, 199 ; 
festivities, 200-203 ; fi^^st visit to 
Saint-Cyr after marriage, 201 ; 
ball of nth December 1697, 201 ; 
regulation of marital relationship, 
204 ; early official life, 206 ; first 
visit to theatre, 207 ; at Fair of 
Saint-Laurent, 208 ; effect of her 
advent on Court, 159, 209, 232 ; 
dances, 233 et seq.; plays cards, 
161, 210, 245-248 ; health, 211, 
212, 249, 250; relationship with 
Louis XIV, 211, 246-248, 289, 
301, 341, 381, 449 ; letters to 
grandmother, quoted 35 note, 
212, 321, 326, 339 ; amusements, 
212; water-party at Trianon, 
216 ; review at Compifegne, 223 ; 
consummation of marriage, 223 ; 
attitude to her husband, 228 et 
seq., 270, 306, 375 ; carnival of 
1700, 231 ; Madame la Chan- 
celiire's ball, 234 ; histrionic 
efforts, 236-241 ; letter to Mme 
la Maintenon on card debts, 246 ; 
Louis XIV forbids gambUng, 248 ; 
illness of, 1701, 250 ; friendship 
with Philip V of Spain, 254 ; 
practical jokes, 272 et seq, ; 
treatment of husband during 
Flanders campaign of, 1703, 
280-286 ; becomes enceinte, 289 ; 
birth of Due de Bretagne, 290 ; 
distress on defection of Victor 
Amadeus from French alUance, 
301 ; Saint-Simon's description 
of. 303-305 ; popularity, 305 ; 
flirtation with Marquis de Nangis, 
307 ; flirtation with Marquis de 
Maulevrier, 310; flirtation with 
Abbe de PoUgnac, 316 ; flirta- 
tion with Due de Fronsac, 320 
note ; death of Due de Bretagne, 
321 ; tries to induce Victor 
Amadeus to come to terms with 
France, 1706, 322; charged with 
betraying France, 331-337; birth 
of second Due de Bretagne, 338 ; 
"est blessSe," 341, 289; cabal of 
Meudon, 354, 375-382, 412 ; cham- 
pions her husband, 376-380 ; 
suspense over siege of Lille, 390 ; 
humiliates VendSme, 408-410 ; 
winter of 1708, 421 ; birth of 
Due d'Anjou, 423 ; forwards 



alliance of Due de Berry, 426 ; 
death of Monseigneur, 432-436 ; 
becomes Madame la Dauphine, 

, as la Dauphine, royal honours 

accorded, 439 ; status, 446 ; 
devotion to France, 447 ; last 
illness, 452 ; last Sacraments, 
454 ; death, 456 ; lying-in-state 
and funeral, 461 ; suspicious of 
having been poisoned, 461, 465 

, Character, Dangeau's opinion 

of. 105 ; Mme deMaintenou ; 141- 
143 ; love of games, 143 ; diplom- 
acy, 147-149 ; love of pleasure, 
208, 209 ; passion for gambling, 
210, 245-248 ; moral effect of in- 
dulgence, 217-220 ; contrasted 
with that of husband, 227-270 ; 
lack of seriousness, 229, 272 ; 
popularity, 305 ; Saint-Simon 
on, 303-305 ; coquetry, 306 ; 
flirtations, 307-320 ; effect of 
mental sufiering on, 377-380 ; 
Due de Bourgogne's tribute, 379 ; 
generosity, 421-422 ; tact, 439 ; 
realises her responsibilities, 446 

Bouyn (financier), 242 

Bouzols, Marquis de, 65 

Braine-l'Alleud, 361 

Brelan, game of, 245 

Bretagne, Due de, 1704- 1705, 290, 

Due de, 1707-1712, 338, 


Breteuil, Baron de, 224 note 

Brinon, Mme de, 175 

Brionne, Comte de, 88 

Brisach, siege of, 279 

Bruges, capture of, 364, 396 

Cabal of Meudon, Alberoni, 374, 381; 
Berry, Duchesse de, 429 ; Bour- 
gogne. Due de, 356, 375, 381 ; 
Bourgogne, Duchesse de, 354, 
376 ; Choin, Mile de, 403 ; dis- 
persal of, 403, 412, 440 ; Madame 
la Duchesse, 354, 375 ; Mon- 
seigneur, 356, 403 ; object of, 
356 ; Saint-Simon on, 412 ; Ven- 
dflme, 353, 356, 407 

Cadoval, Duke of, 1 1 

Calcinato, battle of, 323 

Campistron, Jean Galbert de, 374 
note, 375 

Canaples, Marquis de, 103 

Card-playing at Versailles, 241-246 

Carignano, Prince Philibert di. 

sponsor to Marie Adelaide, 35 ; 
Louis XIV forbids marriage, 45 ; 
physical disabilities, 74 ; at 
Princess of Piedmont's wedding, 
Carlos II of Spain, 252, 259 
Carpi, battle of, 292 
Carrail, Marquis de, 328 
Carutti quoted, 4 

Casale, fortress of, 8, 60 

Cassano, battle of, 323 

Catinat, General, persecution of 
Vaudois, 46 ; campaign against 
Victor Amadeus 11, 1686-1690, 
47 ; MarsagUa, 50 ; besieges 
Valenza, 72 ; Italian campaign, 
1701, 292 ; battle of Chiari, 293 

Caylus, Madame de, quoted 120, 
122, 149 

Chailly, Mme de, 239 

Chambery, town of, 21, 93 

Chamillart, Michel de, 169, 373, 
381, 390 

Chamlay, Marquis de, 5 1 

Chanvallon, Harlay de, 187 

Chappuzeau, Samuel, quoted, 6 

Charles iv, Duke of Mantua, sells 
Casale to Louis xiv, 8 ; Casale 
restored, 60 ; Louis xiv negoti- 
ates with, for Montferrato, 295 

Amadee de Savoie, Due de 

Nemours, 5 

— — Emanuel i, 2 

n, 5 

Ill, of Spain, 257, 323 

Chartrfes, Fran5oise Marie de Bour- 
bon, Duchesse de : See Orleans, 
Duchesse de 

PhiUppe, Due de : See Or- 
leans, Due de 

Mile de, 1 5 

Chdtelet, Marquise du, 81 

Cheraseo, Treaty of, 4 

Chevreiise, Due de, 190 

Chiari, battle of, 293 

Choin, Mile de, marriage, 123, 124 ; 
and Duchesse de Bourgogne, 
403 ; Monseigneur's last illness, 
432 ; Louis XIV grants pension 
to, 438 

Christine de France, Duchess of 
Savoy, marriage, 4 ; regency, 5 ; 
castle built for, 38 

Ciri6, Marquise de, 213 

Cisterna, Principe delia, 17 

Principessa della, 88, lOi 

Clement (accoucheur), Ii6 

Coeuvres, Marechale de, 271 



Coislin, Cardinal de, 195 

Colbert, F. E. : See Maulevrier, 

Marquis de 
Compifigne, town of, 220 
Cond6, Mile de : See Bourbon, 

Anne Louise de 
Coni, town, 49 
Conti, Prince de, costume at Anne 

Marie d'Orleans's wedding, 15 ; 

and Madame la Duchesse, 153 ; 

and Crown of Poland, 316 

Princesse de {la Grande 

Princesse de), 152 ; gambling, 
211, 245 ; cabal of Meudon, 354- 
356 ; nurses, Monseigneur, 432, 

Coulanges, Mme de, quoted, 232 
Council of Despatches, 226 

Finances, 226, 277 

State, 226, 277 

Courcillon, Philippe de : See Dan- 

geau. Marquis de 
Crequy, Duchesse de, 79 
Cumiani, Mile di, 24 

Dame d'honneur, office, 79 

Dame de VolupU, la, 26 

Danet, writer, 118 

Dangeau, Marquis de (Philippe de 
Courcillon), life, 8i note; Journal: 
see below ; appointed to Marie 
Adelaide's Household, 82 ; gives 
sword to Maffei, 102 ; teaches 
Marie Adelaide history, 173 ; 
and reversi, 243 

Marquise de (Sophie de 

Lowenstein), 81, 82 note 

Journal, quotations from, on 

ceremony of consummation of 
Bourgogne marriage, 199 note, 
224 ; on affection between Bour- 
gognes, 231; on affection between 
Louis XIV and the Duchesse de 
Bourgogne, 158, 159 ; on water- 
party at Trianon, 216 

Daun, Graf von, 328 

Dauphin, Louis the : See Mon- 

Dauphine, the : See Maria, Anna, 
Christina, Victoria of Bavaria 

Dauphin^, 50 

De I'iiducation des Filles, treatise, 
128, 135 

Denonville, M., 136 

Desgranges, M., 95, 96, 193 

Destouches, M., 203 

Dialogues des Marts, Fenelon's, 139 

Dronero, Marchese di, jy, 88, loi 

Duclos (quoted), 331 
Dunoyer, Madame, 204 ; Lettres, 
quoted, 210, 219 

Edict of Nantes, Revocation of, 166 
Elisabeth Charlotte d' Orleans : See 

Lorraine, Duchesse de 
Elizabeth, Charlotte of Bavaria: 

See Madame 
Embrun, Victor Amadeus ll's illness 

at, 50 
Erizzo, ambassador, quoted 200, 


Espinoy, Princesse d', 355, 432 
Est6, Philibert d', yj note 
Esther by Racine, 176, 181, 182 
Estrades, Abbe d', quoted 6, 7 
EugSne, Prince of Savoy, and 

campaign in Piedmont, 1674, 48 ; 

and campaign in North Italy, 

1 701, 291 ; and siege of Turin, 
328 ; and Flanders campaign, 
1708, 361, 365 ; and siege of Lille, 

Evreux, Comte d' (Henri, Louis de 
la Tour-d'Auvergne), descent, 
368 ; letter attacking Due de 
Bourgogne, 375 ; repudiates letter, 

Fables, F6nelon's, 139 

Fagon, Guy Crescent, 131, 250, 462 

Famine of , 1708-1709, 418 

Fenelon, Fran9ois de Salignac de 
Lamothe (Bishop of Cambrai), 
Ufe, 126 ; mission to Saintonge, 
128 ; writings, 128, 139 ; ap- 
pearance, 129 ; tutor to Due de 
Bourgogne, 129-139, 187, 190 ; 
moral influence over Due de 
Bourgogne, 130-134; Quietism, 
185 ; Mme Guyon, 185 ; ap- 
pointment to Cambrai, 187 ; 
defends Mme Guyon, 188 ; dis- 
grace and banishment from Court, 

189 ; Louis XIV and TiUmaque, 

190 ; Due de Bourgogne visits, 

1702, 276 ; Due de Bourgogne's 
second visit to, 1708, 359; letter 
to Due de Bourgogne, 400 ; verses 
attacking, 407 

Ferrero, Marchese Ferrero della 

Marmora, 14, 195 
Finale, 261 
First Partition Treaty, 1698, 259 

Flanders Campaigns, in 1702, 274; 

in 1 704-1 706, 323 ; in 1707, 346 ; 



in 1708, 358, 383, 396 ; Ghent, 
364, 396 ; Brisach, 364 ; Bruges, 
364 ; Oudenarde, 365 ; respon- 
sibility for French losses re- 
viewed, 367, 370-373 ; LiUe, 384, 

Flechier, 118 
Frangoise, Marie de Bourbon : See 

Orleans, Duchesse de 
d'Orleans (Mile de Valois), 5 

Fronsac, Due de, 320 note 
FrouUay, Rene de : See Tess6, 

Comte de 

GagniJre, A., on trousseau of 
Marie Adelaide of Savoy, 75 ; 
letter of Comte de Vernone, 
quoted, 94 ; on Marie Adelaide's 
ceremony of reception, quoted 
99 ; Duchesse de Bourgogne's 
letters, quoted 212, 328, 339 

Gamaches, Comte de, 359 

Gaming, at Versailles, 242 

Gap, town of, 50 

Gex, county of, 2 

Ghent, 364, 396 

Glapion, Mme de, i68 

Gondi, Jean Francois de. Arch- 
bishop of Paris, 127 

Gondola parties, 160 

Gontaut-Biron, Mile de : See No- 
garet. Marquise de 

Govone, ambassador of Savoy at 
Versailles, quoted, 146, 156, 

Gramont, Armand de : See Guiche, 
Comte de 

Grand Alliance, the, 274, 300 

Grimani, Abbate, 57 

Groppel, auditor, 53 

Guiche, Comte de (Armand de 
Gramont), 79 

Guyon, Madame Bossuet attacks, 
186, 188-189 ; and Fenelon, 
185-189 ; and Mme de Main- 
tenon, 186, 187 ; quietism of, 
185 ; at Saint-Cyr, 186 

Harcourt, Princesse d', 207, 273 
Haussonville, Comte d', quoted, 4, 

134. 335. 355. 356, 36Z. 363. 36s 

Henri iv. of France, 2 

Henrietta Stuart, Duchesse d'Or- 
leans, 19 

Heudicourt, Mme d', 281 note 

Huet, Bishop of Avranches, 118, 

Humbert-aux-Blanches-Mains, i 
Huxelles, Mar^chal d', 356 

Isabella Luisa, Infanta of Portugal, 

James 11 of England, 146, 198 

regency of, 5-18 ; character, 5, 
7 ; amours, 7 ; subjection of 
Victor Amadeus 11, 7 et seq. ; 
Victor Amadeus 11, attitude to- 
wards, 7, 85 ; arranges Portuguese 
marriage for Victor Amadeus 
II, 9 ; attitude towards Victor 
Amadeus ii's French marriage, 
1 4 ; and amours of Victor Amadeus 
II, 24 ; sponsor to Marie Adelaide 
of Savoy, 35 ; Marie Adelaide's 
affection for, 40 et seq. ; Duchesse 
de Bourgogne's letters, 35 note, 
212, 321, 326, 339 

Jonathas, play, 237 

Joseph Ferdinand, Electoral Prince 
of Bavaria, 157, 259 

La Charite, town of, 106 

La Feuillade, Duo de, siege of Turin, 

324, 329 ; supposed seduction 

from duty, 333-336 
La Force, Mile de, 122 
La Mothe, Comte de, 386, 394 
La Mothe-Houdancourt, Marfechale 

de, and Due de Bourgogne, 124 ; 

apartments of, 223 ; birth of 

Due de Bretagne, 290 ; her death, 

Landau, town, 279 
LaugUe, M. de, gambling, 243, 245, 

344 note 
Lansquenet, game of, 244 
La Rue, Pfere de, collaborates in 

edition of Classics, n8 ; and 

Mme Guyon, 186 note ; and 

death of Duchesse de Bourgogne, 


La Tour-d'Auvergne, Henri, Louis 
de : See Evreux, Comte de 

Lavall6e, M., quoted 164, 178 

La VriUifere, Mme de, 272, 308 

Le Comte, Pfere, 82, 210 

Leopold, Emperor, Augsburg 
League, 46 ; Victor Amadeus 11, 
signs Treaty with, 1674, 47 ; 
Mansfeld mission to Turin, 71 ; 
negotiations for marriage alliance 
with Savoy, 57, 71 ; renounces 
claim to Spanish throne, 252 note ; 



Victor Amadeus ii, signs treaty 

with, 1703, 300 
Lesdiguiferes, quoted, 3 
Li^ge, 277 
Lille, fortifications of, 384 ; siege 

of. 384. 395 

Lillebonne, Mile de, 355, 432 

" Little Venice," i6o note 

Lorraine, Duchesse de (Elizabeth 
Charlotte d'Orleans), 194 note; 

Louis XIII, of France, 3 

Louis XIV, policy towards Savoy in 
1 68 1, 8 ; attitude towards Victor 
Amadeus ii's alliance with Tus- 
cany, 1 3 et seq. ; arranges French 
alliance, 13 et seq. ; gives dowry 
to Anne Maria d' Orleans, 16 ; 
remonstrates with Victor Ama- 

, deus II on treatment of his wife, 
37 ; general policy towards 
Savoy, 44 ; persecution of the 
Vaudois, 46 ; League of Augs- 
burg, 46 ; Savoy in arms against 
1674, 48 ; fighting in Piedmont, 

49 ; fighting in Dauphin^, 50 ; 
attempts to detach Victor Ama- 
deus II from League of Augsburg, 

50 et seq. ; Victor Amadeus 11 
signs treaty with 1696, 61 ; Treaty 
of Ryswick, 72 ; joy at birth of 
Due deBourgogne, 1 16 ; arranges 
education of Monseigneur, 118; 
his Mimoires, 118 ; attitude 
towards his domestics, 144 ; 
affectionate temperament, 150; 
relationship with his children, 
150-155 ; his Court, 1687, 159; 
Mme de Maintenon, 162-170 ; 
temperament and character, 168 ; 
and Saint-Cyr, 174 ; banishes 
Fenelon, 189, 190 ; ignorance 
of theology, 189 ; attitude 
towards gambling, 242-245 ; 
accepts Spanish crown for grand- 
son, 253 ; and First Partition 
Treaty, 259 ; and Second Par- 
tition Treaty, 260 ; for opera- 
tions in War of Spanish Succes- 
sion : see Spanish Succession, 
War of ; negotiations with Victor 
Amadeus 11, in reference to 
Milanese, 261 ; alliance with 
Victor Amadeus ii, 1701, 264 ; 
treats with Duke of Mantua for 
Montferrato, 292 ; and the army 
of the Two Crowns, 292 ; begins 
hostilities against Victor Amadeus 

1702, 299 ; attitude towards 
Due de Bourgogne after disasters 
in Flanders, 392, 402 ; responsi- 
bility for disasters in Flanders 
considered, 360, 397, 416 ; winter 
of 1708, 419 ; and marriage of 
Due de Berry, 424-427 ; and 
death of Monseigneur, 431, 434 ; 
attitude to Due de Bourgogne 
when Dauphin, 441 
, And the Duchesse de Bour- 
gogne, gives dowry, 74 ; arranges 
Household and status, 78-81, 
97 ; reception of, 106 ; corre- 
spondence with Mme de Main- 
tenon in reference to, 106 ; 
decides her title, 1 50 ; makes her 
his companion, 1 56-161 ; organ- 
ises amusements for, 160-161 ; 
restricts her amusements, 161 ; 
costume worn at her wedding, 
194 note ; unable to deny her 
any pleasure, 211 ; teaches her 
pall-mall, 212 ; spoils her, 217 ; 
forbids her to play lansquenet, 
247, 248 ; war with her father 
does not crush his afiection for 
her, 302, 305 ; his selfishness, 
341-344; grief at her death, 456, 

Louis XV, 176, 423, 461 
Louis Alexandre de Bourbon : See 

Toulouse, Comte de 

of Baden, 278 

Louise Franfoise de Bourbon : See 

Madame la Duchesse 
Louville, Marquis de, 137 
Lowenstein, Sophie von : See Dan- 

geau. Marquise de 
Lucinge, Franfoise de : See Noyers, 

Comtesse de 
Lude, Duchesse de, 79, 100, 199 

note, 205 note 
Luxembourg, Due de, 229, 356 
Luynes, Jeanne-Baptiste d' Albert 

de : See Verrua, Contesse di 
Luzzara, battle of, 350 note 
Lyons, 102 

Madame (Elizabeth-Charlotte of 
Bavaria (the Princess Palatine), 
brings up Anne Marie d'Orleans, 
19 ; opinion of Duchesse de 
Bourgogne, 147, 251, 219, 306; 
describes Due de Bourgogne, 229 ; 
opinion of Due de Bourgogne, 
307 ; portrait of Duchesse de 
Berry, 428 note ; on Princesse 



d'Harcourt, 273 note ; on 
Madame la Duchesse, 153 ; 
costume at Bourgogne wedding, 
194 note ; and death of Mon- 
seigneur, 435 
Madame la Duchesse (Mile de 
Nantes, Louise Fraufoise, Duch- 
esse de Bourbon), costume at 
wedding of Anne Marie d'Or- 
leans, 16 ; descent, 16 ; cha- 
racter, 153 ; costume at Bour- 
gogne wedding, 194 note ; com- 
poses verses, 225, 375 ; gambling, 
245 ; and Cabal of Meudon, 354 ; 
and death of Monseigneur, 432 
Madame Royale : See Jeanne Bap- 

tiste de Savoie-Nemours 
Mademoiselle (Elizabeth Charlotte 
d'Orl6ans) : See Lorraine, Duch- 
esse de 

(Marie Louise, Elizabeth 

d'Orleans) : See Berry, Duchesse 
Maffei, loi 

MagUano, Conte di, 21 
Mailly, Comtesse de, 8 1 
Maine, Due du, costume at wedding 
of Anne Marie d'Orleans, 14 ; 
descent, 15 ; character, 151 ; 
Louis xiv's attitude towards, 151, 
152 note ; and Madame de Main- 
tenon, 151, 171; and cabal of 
Meudon, 356 ; suspected of 
poisoning, 465 

Duchesse du, 233, 236 

Maintenon, Mme, influence on 
formation of Marie Adelaide's 
Household, 80 ; friendship with 
Beauvilliers, 126 ; on character 
of Due de Bourgogne, 134 note ; 
first impressions of Marie Ade- 
laide, 140 ; character, 162 ei seg. ; 
Saint-Simon on, 162 ; ambitions, 
164 ; marriage with Louis xiv, 
164 ; political power estimated, 
166 ; " life of slavery," i68, 177 ; 
attitude to Louis xiv, 170 ; 
maternal instinct, 170; rela- 
tionship with Marie Adelaide, 
147, 171, 182, 217, 250 ; estab- 
lishment of Saint-Cyr, 174 ; on 
men and marriage, 181 note, 182 ; 
and Quietism, 186; and Duchesse 
de Bourgogne's card debts, 245 ; 
nurses Duchesse de Bourgogne, 
250 ; supports the Due de Bour- 
gogne, 373, 381, 393 
Correspondence of, with Louis | 

XIV, 108, 1 10 ; with the Duchess 
of Savoy on Marie Adelaide's 
arrival, 141, 143 ; with the 
Cardinal de Noailles, 167 ; with 
the Duchesse de Bourgogne, 228 ; 
with Comte d'Ayen, 239 ; with 
Madame Dangeau, 248 ; with 
the Princesse des Ursins, 340, 

377. 390. 448, 451 

Mausart, Jules Hardouin, 175, 213 

Mansfeld, Graf von, 70 

Mantua, Charles iv, Duke of: See 
Charles iv, Duke of Mantua 

Marais, Godet des (Bishopj of 
Chartres), 186 i.». »v ! 

Mareschal, doctor, 462, 465 oS?' fi>^T^ 

Maria Anna Christina Victoria of 
Bavaria (the Dauphine), descent, 
IS ; birth of Due de Bourgogne, 
lis ; character, 122 

Anna Luisa de Medici, 12 

Luisa (Princess of Piedmont, 

Queen of Spain), birth, 36 ; child- 
hood and I education, 37 et seq. ; 
poUtical reasons for marriage, 
263, 291 ; siege of Turin, 326 

Theresa, Queen of France, 

242, 257 

Marie Adelaide of Savoy : See 
Bourgogne, Duchesse de 

Christine de France : See 

Christine de France, Duchess of 

Jeanne Baptiste de Savoie- 
Nemours : See Jeanne Baptiste 
de Savoie-Nemours 

Louise d'Orleans, Queen of 

Spain, 19, 70 note 

de Savoie-Nemours, 9 

Therfese de Bourbon, Princesse 

de Conti, 152 

Marlborough, Flanders campaign, 
1708, 360, 383 

Marmora, Marchese Ferrero della : 
See Ferrero, Marchese 

MarsagUa, battle of, 50 

Marsin, campaign in N. Italy, 1706, 
320-331 ; accused of treachery 
over siege of Turin, 333, 336- 


Mary of Modena, 146, 197, 203 

Mascagny, M. de, 103 

Masino, Conte di, 7 

Maulevrier, Marquis de (Francois 
i^douard Colbert), Duchesse de 
Bourgogne's flirtation with, 310 
et seq. ; at Spanish Court, 314; 
death, 318 



Maximes des Saints sur la vie in- 
Urieure, F6nelon's, i88 

Maxiinilian of Bavaria, 123, 278 

Menagerie of Versailles, 158, 218 

Mercure de France, quoted on birth 
of Due de Bourgogne, 115, 116; 
on Bourgogne marriage, 193 et 
seq., 194 note ; on ceremony of 
consummation of Bourgogne's 
marriage, 199 ; on ball of Dec. 
II, 1697, 202 ; on ball given by 
Madame la Chanceliire, 234 ; on 
histrionic efforts of Duchesse de 
Bourgogne, 240 ; on birth of Due 
de Bretagne, 290 ; on accession 
of Philip V of Spain, 253 note; 
on Due de Bourgogne's departure 
for Flanders, 1708, 358 

Milanese, the, invasion of 1692, 72 ; 
Victor Amadeus ii's claim to, 
258 ; Victor Amadeus ii's negoti- 
ations with Louis XIV for 1699, 
260 et seq. 

Misanthrope, n8 

Monseigneur (Louis, the Dauphin), 
reception of Marie Adelaide, 107 ; 
education, 118 ; character, 120, 

121 ; appearance, 121 ; love of 
hunting, 121, 123 ; marriage, 

122 ; morganatic marriage, 123 ; 
attitude towards Louis xiv, 151; 
costume at Bourgogne marriage, 
194 note ; Cabal of Meudon, 
356 ; Saint-Simon on attitude 
towards Due de Bourgogne after 
retreat at Lille, 392 ; reception 
of after Flanders campaign, 1708, 
403 ; and Veud6me, 405, 408, 
410 ; attitude towards Due 
d'Orleans, 425 ; alliance of Due 
de Berry, 427 ; last illness, 430- 
436 ; deputation of fishwives to, 
433 ; funeral obsequies, 436 ; 
division of property, 438 

Monsieur (Philippe d'Orleans, bro- 
ther of Louis XIV), descent, 14 ; 
costume at wedding of Anne 
Marie d'Orleans, 15 ; reception 
of Marie Adelaide, 107, 113 ; 
costume at Bourgogne marriage, 
194 note ; gambling, 242 

Montausier, Due de, 118, 119 

Duchesse de (Julie d'Angen- 

nes), 118 note 

Montespan, Mme de, daughters, 
153 ; and gambling, 242 ; story 
of Louis xiv's selfishness2,to- 
wards, 341 

Montferrato, Victor Amadeus ii's 
claims, 261 ; Louis xiv negoti- 
ates for, 295 ; ceded to Victor 
Amadeus 11, 300 
Montgon, Comtesse de, 81, 280 
Montmelian, fortress of, 49, 93 
Mothe-Houdancourt, Marechale de 
la': See La Mothe-Houdancourt, 
Marechale de 
Muratori quoted, 73 

Nangis, Marquis de, flirtation with 

the Duchesse de Bourgogne, 307 ; 

liaison with Mme de la Vrillifere, 

308 ; at battle of Oudenarde, 

367 note 
Nantes, Mile de : See Madame la 

Noailles, Louis de (Bishop of 

Chalons and afterwards Bishop 

of Paris), 167, 186 ^ >- ] 

Due de, 463 .•■ - ' t-J 

Noel, Pfere, 454 

Nogaret, Marquise de (Mile de 

Gontaut-Biron), 81 
Nouvelles Catholiques, the, 127 
Noyers, Comtesse des (Franjoise de 

Lueinge), 37, 100 

'O, Marquis d', 359\ 

Marquise d' , 8 1 

Orleans, Anne Marie d' : See Anne 
Marie d'Orleans, Duchess of 

Elizabeth, Charlotte d' : See 

Lorraine, Duchesse de 

Marie Louise, lilisabeth d' : 

See Berry, Duchesse de 

Philippe d' (brother of Louis 

xiv) : See Monsieur 

Philippe, Due de Chartres, 

due d' (the future Regent), 
costume at wedding of Anne Marie 
d'Orleans, 15 ; marriage, 79 
note ; costume at Bourgogne 
marriage, 194 note ; siege of 
Turin, 329 ; unpopularity, 425 ; 
suspected of poisoning, 463 

Fran9oise Marie de Bourbon, 

Duchesse d' (Mile de Blois, 
Duchesse de Chartres), costume 
at wedding of Anne Marie 
d'Orleans, 16 note ; descent, 79 
note ; character, 153 ; appear- 
ance, 154; costume at Bour- 
gogne marriage, 194 note 

Ormoy, M. d", 117 

Oudenarde, battle of, 365, 366 ; 



responsibility for defeat con- 
sidered, 367, 370-373 

Pall-mall, game of, 212 

Paris, winter of, in 1708-1709, 417 

Partition Treaties, the first, 259 ; 

the second, 260 
Petechia, doctor, 5 
Phelypeaux, ambassador, 260-263, 

Philibert, Emanuel, Duke of Savoy, 


Philip IV of Spain, 257 

V of Spain, descent, 1 1 2 note ; 

childhood, 135 ; physical train- 
ing, 136 ; first visit to the theatre, 
207 ; Louis XIV accepts Spanish 
crown for, 253 ; leaves Versailles 
for Spain, 255 ; marriage, 291 ; 
meeting with Victor Amadeus 11, 
297 ; flies from Madrid, 323 ; and 
Vend6me, 414 

Philippe, Due d'Anjou : See 
Philip V of Spain 

d' Orleans (brother of Louis 

XIV) : See Monsieur 

Due d' Orleans (nephew of 

Louis xiv) : See Orleans, Philippe 

Pianezza, Marchese, 10 

Piedmont, Princess of. See Maria 
Luisa, Queen of Spain 

Pincr6, Mile de, 171 

Pinerolo, fortress, Richelieu secures, 
4 ; Augsbxirg allies invest, 50 ; 
ceded to Victor Amadeus 11, 61 

Polignac, Cardinal Melchior de, 
flirtation with the Duchesse de 
Bourgogne, 316 ; Mme de Sevig- 
ne's description of, 316 ; Am- 
bassador in Poland, 316 ; sent 
to Rome, 318 

Pontchartrain, Mme de, 210, 234 

Pont-de-Beauvoisin, 20, 96, 98 

Prie, Madame de (Mile de Saluzzo), 

Princess Palatine, the : See Madame 
Proyart, Abb6, quoted 133 
Prudhomme, M., 144 
Puysegur, Marquis de, accompanies 

Due de Bourgogne to Flanders in 

1708, 359 ; Venddme attacks, 372 ; 

defends himself against Vendbme, 


Quantin, Jean, 86 

Mme, 86 

Quietism, 185 

Racine, 18 1 
Raisin, Mile, 121 
RamilUes, battle of, 323 
Rebenac, Comte de, 47 
Reversi, game of, 242, 244 note 
Richelieu, Cardinal de, 3, 4 
Rivoli, Chateau of, 18, 39, 49 
Rocca, Contessa della, 212 
Rochefort, Marechale de, 79 
Romans, King of the (son of Emperor 

Leopold), 58, 71 
Rue, pare de la. See La Rue, P6re de 
Ryswick, Treaties of, 72 

Saint - Amand, Imbert de, cited 
170, 177 

Saint-Cyr, la Maison Royale de 
history, 171, 174 ; Madame de 
Maintenon writes for, 173 ; 
theatricals at, 176, 181 ; Marie 
Adelaide visits, 181, 201 ; Mme 
Guyon, 186 

Saint-Cyres, Lord, quoted 1 34 note, 
407 note 

Saint-Laurent, Fair of, 208 

Saint-Simon, Due de, 3 ; cost of 
clothes for Marie Adelaide's 
wedding, 191 note ; attitude 
towards Mme de Maintenon, 222 ; 
and marriage of Due de Berry, 426 

Saint-Simon (quoted), on Due de 
Bourgogne, 125, 134; physical 
and moral portrait of Duchesse 
de Bourgogne, 303 ; on popu- 
larity of Duchesse de Bourgogne, 
305 ; on death of Duchesse de 
Bourgogne, 448-449, 453-457: 
on espionnage at Court, 311 note ; 
on F^nelon, 129, 359; on Prin- 
cesse d'Harcourt, 274 ; on Louis 
XIII, 3 ; on Louis xiv, 152 note ; 
on Duchesse du Lude, 80 ; on 
Mme de Maintenon, 162 ; on 
Monseigneur, 122 ; on Mme de 
Montespan's daughters, 153 ; on 
Marquis de Nangis, 307 ; on Oude- 
narde, 376 ; on Comte de Tesse, 
51 ; on Vendfime, 336, 338, 408 ; 
on winter of 1708, 417 

Saint-Thomas, Marquis de, 33, 61 

Saluzzo, town, 2 

Saluzzo, MUe di. See Pri6, Mme de 

San Maurizio, Marchese di, 7 

Sebastiano, Conte di, 24 

Santa-Brigida, Fort of, 50 

Saumery, Marquis de, 275 

Savoy, Dukes and Duchesses of : 
See under Christian names 



Scud6ry, Mile de, 165 

Second Partition Treaty, the, 256, 

S6vign6, Mme de, 126, 316 

Soubise, Princesse de, 418 

Sourches, Marquis de, quoted 67, 
156, 157 

Spanish Succession, War of the, 
claimants, 257 ; in Flanders, 
1702, 274 ; Grand Alliance, 274 ; 
in Germany, 1702, 278; in North 
Italy, 1701, 291 ; Army of the 
Two Crowns, 292 ; French losses, 
1704, 1705, 323 ; in Spain, 
1704-6, 323; in North Italy, 1706, 

323, 328 ; in France, 1707, 345 ; 
other campaigns of , 1707, 346; in 
Flanders, 1708, 359, 383 

Staffarda, battle of, 49 
Susa, town of, 3. 

Tallard, Marfechal, 278, 323 

TiUmaque, Fenelon, 139, 190 

Tellemont, 118 

Tessfe, Comte de (Rene de FrouUay), 
career and character, 5 1 ; mission 
to Turin, 1692, 52-56 ; secret 
visit to Turin, June 1696, 60 ; 
public visit to Turin, July 1696, 
64 ; becomes equerry to Marie 
Adelaide, yy, 82 ; persuades 
Maulevrier to accompany him to 
Spain, 314 ; demands his recall, 


Torre, Abbate della, 17 

Toulon, 345 

Toulouse, Comte de (Louis Alex- 
andre de Bourbon), descent, 15 ; 
career, 151 

Tronson, Abbe, 127, 186 

Turin, Catinat threatens, 49 ; siege, 

324, 329-330, 334 

Two Crowns, Army of the, 292 

Urfe, Marquis d", 35 

Valentino, Castello del, 38 

Valenza, 72 

Valois, Mile de : See Franfois 

d' Orleans 
Valromey, county of, 2 
Vancy, Duchfe de, 237, 238 
Vauban, 279, 384 
Vaudemont, Prince de, 292, 294 
Vaudois, the, 46, 48 
Vendome, Louis Joseph, Due de, 

descent, 347 ; character, 348 ; 

courage and affability with 

soldiers, 350 ; early talents and 
military career reviewed, 349-35 1; 
popularity, 351, 416 ; opinion on 
Due de Bourgogne, 353 ; and 
the cabal of Meudon, 356 ; 
devotion of his soldiers, 350 ; 
generalship discussed, 365, 397 

Military career(Vf ax of Spanish 

Succession), head of Army of 
Italy, 1703, 278 ; in North Italy, 
1 702, 298 ; disarmament of 
Piedmontese contingent, 299 ; 
Flanders,iyo^-iy^6, 329; ordered 
to Flanders, 1706, 329; cam- 
paign of 1707, 346 ; campaign of 
1708, disagreement with Due 
de Bourgogne, 364 ; at Oude- 
narde, 365 ; question of responsi- 
biUty for defeat at Oudenarde, 
365-369,413 ; siege of Lille, 383 ; 
disagreement with Berwick, 387 ; 
responsibility for disasters in 
Flanders, 397 ; reception by 
Louis XIV on return from 1708, 
404 ; reception by the Court, 405 ; 
discomfited by the Duchesse de 
Bourgogne, 407 et seq. ; re- 
moved by Louis xiv from active 
list, 414 ; campaign of 1710 in 
Spain, 414 ; death, 415 
Vend6me, the Grand Prior, 348 
Veneria, II, 39 
Venloo, town of, 277 
Ventadour, Duchesse de, 79 
Vernone, Conte di, at wedding of 
Anne Marie d'Orlfians, 30 ; letter 
to Victor Amadeus 11, 93 ; his 
account of the reception of Marie 
Adelaide at the Pont-de-Beau- 
voisin, 98 ; Louis xiv's gift to 


Verrua, Abbate di, 28 

Contesse di (Jeanne Baptiste 

d' Albert de Luynes), liaison with 
Victor Amadeus 11, 25 ; deserts 
him, 29 ; her art collection, 29, 
30 ; epitaph, 31 

Versailles, Court of, prior to, 1686, 
159 ; influence of Marie Ade- 
laide's advent, 160 ; marriage 
fetes of Duchesse de Bourgogne, 
200 et seq. ; dancing, 209 ; 
minutiae of etiquette observed, 
206,254; gambling, 241 ; theat- 
ricals, 236; Swiss spies at, 311 

Victor Amadeus i, 4 

Personal, childhood, 5 ; cha- 



racter, 6, 7, 18, 301 ; filial rela- 
tionship, 7 ; appearance at eigh- 
teen years, 21 ; liaison with Mile 
de Cumiana, 23 ; treatment of his 
wife, 23, 31 ; liaisons with Mme 
de Pri6 and the Contessa di 
Verrua, 25 ; his children, 34; 
Political, policy towards Louis 
XIV, 8 ; and Knerolo, 8, 50, 61 ; 
proposed Portuguese marriage, 
9-1 1 ; intrigues against his 
mother's regency, 10 ; proposed 
marriage with Maria Anna Luisa 
de Medici, 12 ; marries Anne 
Marie d' Orleans, 16; its political 
significance, 17 ; emancipates 
himself from mother's control, 
17 ; persecution of the Vaudois, 
46 ; coquets with the Allies, 46 ; 
Catinat advances against, 47 ; 
joins League of Augsburg, 47 ; 
attempts to detach him from 
League, 51-54; negotiations for 
marriage of Marie Adelaide, 55, 
58, 61 ; Treaty with Louis xiv, 
61 ; receives title of Royal High- 
ness, 61, 104 ; deserts Augsburg 
League, 72 ; and question of 
Marie Adilaide's Household, 82 ; 
claim to possessions of Spanish 
crown,257; the Partition Treaties, 
259, 260 ; negotiations with Louis 
XIV to acquire the Milanese, 260, 
299 ; treaty with Louis xiv, 1701, 
264 ; marriage of his daughter 
the Princess of Piedmont, 291 ; 

generalissimo in Northern Italy 
(War of Spanish Succession), 292 ; 
at battle of Chiari, 273 ; sus- 
pected of treachery, 294 ; 
promised Montferrato by the 
Emperor, 296 ; PhiUp v's refusal 
to accord him sovereign honours, 
297 ; negotiations with Emperor 
Leopold, 1702, 299 ; renewed 
negotiations with Louis xiv 
about the Milanese, 299 ; joins 
Grand Alliance, 300 ; French 
invasion of Piedmont (1706), 
323 ; his daughters urge him to 
make concessions, 324-326 ; and 
siege of Turin, 328 ; invades Pro- 
vence and lays siege to Toulon, 

Prince of Piedmont (son of 

Victor Amadeus 11), 213 note 
Vie de Charlemagne, Fenelon's, 139 

Vigevano, Treaty of, 72 
Vigna di Madame, the, 39 
Villacerf, Marquis de, 192 
Villarceaux, Marquis de, 163 note 
Villars, Marechal de, 278 
Villeroy, Marechal de, 293, 295, 

Vitelleschi, Marchesa di, 33 note, 

39 note 
VriUi^re, Mme de la : See La Vril- 

ligre, Mme de, 216 

Winter of 1708, 416-422 
Wynendale, skirmish at, 394 

Printed hy 

Morrison & Gibb Limited